Its All in the Questions

Contrary to many of the books on how to be an effective salesperson, selling in today's market place is just the same as yesterday's. Goods and services are still being bought and sold. Success is still measured by how many sales you close and the profitability within each sale.

So what separates successful sales personnel from not so successful? The answer to this question lies in the ability to ask questions that help the potential buyers better understand their needs while demonstrating the value you bring by asking good questions. Remember, being a good salesperson begins by focusing on the needs of the prospect and not your needs.

Good questions don't need to be hard. Simplicity is sometimes the better route to take. Simple questions allow the prospect better comprehension and provide opportunities for them to share even more information.

For example, the word "and" can be used as a question after a particular experience has been shared to keep your prospect talking. "And?"

Continuing to listen to the prospect will allow you to ask, "What happened next?" As the dialogue continues, you build a relationship through active listening while discovering additional needs or as some say "pain."

Another question "Could you please tell me more about that?" allows further exploration into the current need. Again, you are demonstrating real concern about your prospect.

As the conversation continues, the prospect may share some other solutions that may or may not have worked. At this time, you may wish to ask "Specifically, how many?" Upon hearing the response, two follow-up questions that achieve great results are "And how did that work for you?" and "How did that make you feel?"

Additional questions might be "What other result or results were you expecting?" and "How can you be sure of that?" Finally, before you end your meeting, a final question of "Is there anything else?" might prove beneficial.

Good salespeople understand that no one likes to be sold, but everyone likes to buy. Your ability to ask questions that create an emotional desire to buy will help you reach that next level of sales success.

Leanne Hoagland-Smith, M.S. President of ADVANCED SYSTEMS, is the Process Specialist. With over 25 years of business and education experience, she builds peace and abundance by connecting the 3P's of Passion, Purpose and Performance through process improvement. Her ROI driven process solutions affect sustainable change in 4 key areas: financials, leadership, relationships and growth & innovation with a variety of industries. She aligns the strategies, systems and people to develop loyal internal customers that lead to external customers. As co-author of M.A.G.I.C.A.L. Potential:Living an Amazing Life Beyond Purpose to Achievement due for June 2005 release, Leanne speaks nationally to a variety of audiences. Please call Leanne a call at 219.759.5601 or leanne@processspecialist.com if you are seeking amazing results.

Copyright 2005(c) Leanne Hoagland-Smith, http://www.processspecialist.com

Permission to publish this article, electronically or in print, as long as the bylines are included, with a live link, and the article is not changed in any way (grammatical corrections accepted).

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