If you’re a regular reader of this blog (and if you’re not, you can be—just click one of the “Subscribe” links to the right, wink, wink, nudge, nudge), you know that I’m a big fan of asking questions. When I conduct sales training seminars, I typically give audiences 20 to 40 questions to ask their prospects. Because questions are extraordinarily powerful.
Asking questions can:
1. Help you understand wants and needs
2. Reveal hidden criteria
3. Uncover opportunities
4. Enable you to shorten your presentation
5. Demonstrate interest
6. Make you look smart
7. Make the prospect feel smart
8. Provide clarity
9. Eliminate uncertainty and doubt
10. Cause the prospect to consider other possibilities
11. Create opportunities for empathy and rapport
12. Build trust
13. Keep the prospect engaged
14. Spur them to think
15. Uncover fears and concerns
16. Confirm suspicions
17. Challenge assumptions
18. Help prioritize
19. Ensure the right purchase
And yet, too many salespeople, business owners, and professionals miss all these benefits because they don’t ask anywhere near enough questions. They’re in too much of a hurry to get to their presentation so they can awe their prospect by reciting all the incredible features and benefits of their stupendous product or service. Which the prospect typically doesn’t care about.
What does the prospect truly care about? Themselves.
Which is precisely why questions are so powerful.
So when you’re at a networking event, ask more questions. When you’re meeting with a new prospect, ask more questions. When you encounter an objection or an impasse, ask more questions. The more time you invest asking questions, the less time you will need to spend on every other step of the sales process.
By the way, the benefits of asking questions aren’t limited to salespeople working with prospects. They also apply to leaders interacting with people in their organizations, and to anyone else dealing with co-workers, friends, and family. (Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.)
Become a big fan of questions yourself and reap the myriad benefits. The more questions you ask, the more success you’ll achieve.