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A Simple Sales Strategy: Ask Questions!
Ask questions. Ask questions. Ask questions. In case you didn't get this, ask questions! Asking questions is one of the most powerful keys to successful selling. It really is. So, why should you ask questions?
Ask questions to find out if you can help/serve your potential client. By asking questions, you'll be able to find out if your solution will help them at this point in time. It may be the right time and then again it may not. You'll know by asking questions.
Ask questions to qualify. By asking questions you will find out if the person has a problem you can solve and if it is big enough for them to want to solve it now. If the answer is "no" to both questions then there will be no point in progressing with the sales conversation.
Ask questions to find the answers! Often we assume we have the answers. We have all the reasons and answers as to why a potential client should work with us. Telling someone what is good for them and why is rather presumptuous. So, instead of telling someone why your service is good for them, ask them questions and they will give you their answers.
Ask questions to gather information for your presentation. Assuming people have problems you can solve and they want them solved now, you can eventually present your solution. When presenting, I highly recommend you give a tailored presentation which specifically addresses the problems they have that you can solve. The only way to find out this information is by asking questions.
Ask questions and you will control the direction and the flow of the conversation. The person asking questions controls the conversation. Conversely, if you just launch into your solution presentation without asking questions, you have immediately lost control, and I assure you that your potential client will not be listening.
Ask questions to take away objections later on. The more questions you ask now the fewer objections there will be later on. There is a correlation. You'll see.
Ask questions and you will build trust and rapport. Building this trust and rapport is a prerequisite -- a very important step that needs to occur before someone will buy from you.
When asking questions I recommend you use the following 3-part framework.
Part One: Ask questions to uncover problems (that you can solve).
Part Two: Ask questions to get them to explain to you the impact/effect of the problem.
Part Three: Ask questions so they can explain the benefit of solving the problem
When you are asking questions, have no expectation of making a sale. Come from a place of simply wanting to help your potential client. This mindset will help you and the potential client discover if your services are the best solution to their problem.
Now there is a science to using this framework but we have to leave that for another time!
(c) Tessa Stowe, Sales Conversation, 2005 You are welcome to "reprint" this article online as long as it remains complete and unaltered (including the "about the author" info at the end).
About the Author: Tessa Stowe helps Coaches and Consultants stop struggling to sell, and instead attract clients like magic! Her FREE e-course tells you how: "Attract More Clients Naturally: 10 Simple Strategies That Work ... Even If You Hate Selling!" Sign up now at http://www.attractmoreclientsnaturally.com.