The Questions You Ask Determine How Many Sales You Make
Questions are the single biggest skill any rural sales professional can learn after listening.
Mastering the art of asking questions can be the difference between an average rural sales rep getting mediocre results, and a great rural sales rep getting geometrical results.
As sales guru Geoffrey Gittomer said:
It’s not the hard sell, it’s the heart sell. Questions allow you to get to the heart of the matter without the buyer thinking he or she is being pushed.
Over the years I’ve tried to perfect (still a work in progress mind you : ) the art of asking the right questions to get the right answers.
The answer I’ve found is, literally, the question.
Questions allow us to enter the mind of the buyer and find out what their buying motives are.
Like a gateway into their brains, we use questions to find out what are they thinking and feeling.
What tools or reference points are they using to evaluate a potential purchase?
What are they most afraid of losing or risking?
What made them reach out in the first place?
Not all questions are created equal. Some are more powerful than others.
So what are examples of “Powerful Questions”?
- what does success look like for you here?
- why is this problem important to solve?
- what do you want to achieve specifically?
- how will you know when you have achieved it?
- can you tell me about your experience working with companies similar to ours?
- what do you look for most in XYZ company?
- what do you need to see in a proposal?
- what do you place most emphasis or value on?
- what’s the impact or cost if we didn’t go ahead with this now? (remember it’s never a question of time, it’s a question of priorities)
- what will you be able to do that you can’t do right now when this issue is fixed?
- how is a decision like this made, would you be able to outline the process for me please?
- who else do we need to get on-board here?
- where are we likely to encounter the most resistance or push back?
- have we covered everything off here that you’d like to?
These are just a handful of powerful questions you can arm yourself with (we teach a ton more in our Rural Sales Success Programme®)
With them on board, your confidence will rocket because you have them to fall back on.
Think of them as more tools for your tool box that you can pull out whenever and wherever you need them to unearth the answers you need.
Why do questions work so well?
Because people love being asked great questions, not dumb boring as batshit ones that serve you rather than them.
Success will sound like: “Gee…I’ve never been asked that question before, let me think about that…”.
When you hear that bingo! You’re in business.
Be like the best journalists you know.
Think of Michael Parkinson of the BBC (showing my age I know 🙂 or our very own Kim Hill on Radio New Zealand.
They both asked brilliant questions in a brilliant way.
Follow a friendly, courteous line of questioning that gets to the truth and heart of the matter.
Remember we want to discover the real, underlying drivers to what they’re saying (root causes), not the surface level stuff (symptoms).
You only get to the good stuff when you ask intelligent, deep enquiring questions.
The reward is there and so is your sale if you do.
I am on a mission to help rural sales and marketing owners, managers and reps get the results they deserve. Please make sure you Follow Me here on LinkedIn so you don’t miss out on my articles.
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