Are your sales questions digging 30ft deep holes?
and why you should be nodding…
Are you making these mistakes in selling?
Imagine the scene. Your new prospect is talk, talk, talking. And you’ve heard it all before. Straight off the bat you know you’ve got just the thing for them.
This is how most salespeople sell. In fact, 80-90% of salespeople are making this same mistake. And why is it a mistake? Because you’re sending all the wrong messages.
What’s your customer really hearing?
When you are at the point of “just knowing” what the customer needs, and busy telling him what you think that is, here’s what they’re really thinking:
- That you’re not interested in their needs.
- That you don’t want to build a relationship with them.
- That you’re trying to flog them something.
- That you know everything and they should listen to you.
- That you’re just in it for the money.
But ask yourself this – and answer honestly – do you really know everything?
In fact when it comes to specific prospects, someone you’ve only just met, you probably know very little. And even the bits you think you know might be wrong.
So what do you do?
It’s simple, you ask questions.
Not one or two questions, but as many as it takes to fully understand your prospect and their business.
It’s like digging a hole. You might dig a hole 3 feet deep and think job done. But it’s not. Needs-based selling is about digging holes that are 30 or 40 feet deep. It’s about fully understanding your prospect. It’s about getting way beneath the surface, getting to the foundation of the business and understanding the challenges it’s facing.
And here’s the rub. The more questions you ask –the deeper you dig – the better you’ll understand the prospect and their business. Remember, most salespeople don’t operate this way. When you do, your prospects will love you for it.
And here’s the real rub – the better you explore their needs, the easier it is to close the sale. Why wouldn’t it be easier? You’ve understood their needs and matched the benefits of your solution to meet their specific needs.
Needs-based selling is not hard selling.
Needs-based selling is about uncovering the needs of your clients and creating bespoke solutions based on those needs.
It’s not about selling people something they don’t want, it’s not about hard selling and it’s not about being pushy. Needs-based selling is about suggesting practical solutions to meet real needs.
Conventional sales wisdom says that to be a great salesperson you need to be a flamboyant extrovert. Dazzling your prospects with your brilliance, just like Del Boy selling cheap second hand clocks (that don’t work) to unsuspecting punters at the market.
Are you a Del Boy, or do you want to do better?
No matter how much we love characters like Del Boy we now know that their way is not the most effective way of selling our products and services. The hard sell approach of many salespeople has long been proven to be ineffective, although research suggests that 80% of salespeople still do it.
When you want to do the best thing for your customer you’ll hold off discussing your products and services until you understand their needs. Really understand their needs.
The only way to uncover needs is by asking questions. A critical part of every relationship you build – and every piece of new business – lies in your ability to ask questions. Asking questions is the only way to understand the customer’s situation and how you can help them.
Questions. Questions. Questions.
Questions keep the customer involved in the sales process. Questions let your customers feel they’re in control. Questions also give you the opportunity to dig deeper for further needs.
So, what question’s have you got for your next prospect?
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