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11 August 2019

Are you asking enough questions?

I helped a friend out a few weeks ago.

She has built a team of salespeople underneath her in a business that sells global products made by artisans paid fair wages and the organization commits the profits heavily to humanitarian efforts around the world as well.

Her team members are NOT professionally trained salespeople, yet, they are some of the most passionate and committed sellers I’ve met. They believe in their products, their purpose, their mission, and are dedicated to changing the lives of their artisans and their families.

I offered to jump on a video call with her team and answer some of their questions about how to prioritize their business in their life, how to increase sales, how to reach out to warm leads, how to share their passion and the mission, how to close, … and so on.

One of the recurring themes in THIS conversation and many of the sales meetings I’ve had lately is sellers want to know WHAT to say, HOW to say it, or WHEN to say it … but what I really want to say is …

STOP TALKING.

ASK MORE QUESTIONS.

We’re dying for the opportunity to tell our prospects and customers all about our products, services, benefits, terms, teams, culture, weekend plans, shoe size, blood type …

But are they ready? Do they care? What do they want to know?

TELLING is turning people off and they’re tuning you out.

Ask questions to bring your audience into the conversation.

We’re all tired of being talked “at” as consumers and honestly, when someone starts in on a sales pitch, it signals our sympathetic nervous system to “fight or flight” because previous experience has told us that we’re going to be trapped, forced to listen to something we don’t care about, and/or we feel uncomfortable trying to extricate ourselves from someone who is forcing us to listen to them.

To be interesting … be interested in the other person:

  • To strike up a conversation with someone at a conference, ask what made them buy their ticket, who they’re there to see, or what they want to take away from the event.
  • To learn about what someone is passionate about, ask them where they spend their time and energy.
  • To know who influences a purchasing decision, ask who owns the pain, the budget, the process, the outcomes, the training, et cetera.
  • To understand someone’s budget guidelines, ask about their previous solutions – what resources have they invested in to try to solve their problem.

The best way to get someone’s attention, to get them to listen to you, is to ask them to talk about themselves.

It’s not rocket science, right!!!

But it IS difficult. We’re so eager to tell, tell, tell, that we’re undermining our desire to have our prospects or clients listen to us.

Someone once told me that people are never more convinced about anything then when the ideas, solutions, or advice comes from their own mouths.

Get people talking and they’ll tell you what they need to know to proceed, what they want to know to trust you, and how to help them to the next steps.

Ask.More.Questions.

Until next time, stop hoping and start SELLING!

-sks

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