Never underestimate the power of asking great questions. Especially when it comes to sales.
The number of sales you make will be in direct correlation to the ability to ask great questions and then listening closely to the prospect’s answers.
You will only be able to uncover the prospect’s pain and needs in accordance with your ability to ask good questions.
So what are some of the best questions to ask a potential client when you’re in a sales encounter?
Here is a list of eight great questions to have ready on your next sales call/meeting:
1. What prompted you to set up an appointment with me today?
2. Is there something that you’ve tried before that worked for you?
3. What have you tried that hasn’t worked?
4. How badly do you want to fix this problem?
5. What would your life be like if you got this situation taken care of?
6. In what way would your family be affected if you were able to get this problem fixed?
7. Is there any reason you wouldn’t move forward with _____ today?
8. What do you need to know in order to be certain that this purchase will be worth it today?
Questions are powerful in a sales encounter because it is the only way to truly discover what your prospect needs and how you can help him/her.
So make sure you are asking a lot of good questions while listening closely to what your prospect is saying. Check out what the most important factor in sales is.
There is a good and a not-so-good way to ask questions. We’ll cover more of that below. For now, let’s look at the most effective way to lead a sales meeting or call, when to ask questions and when to listen.
How to effectively lead a sales encounter
1. Set The Frame.
What does this mean?
Well, essentially it means setting the expectations of your sales meeting.
This is where you will let the prospect know what you are expecting of him/her and how you will conduct the meeting.
Setting the frame is important because it puts the prospect at ease. You are letting them know how the call is going to go.
However, before you tell them how the call is going to go, it’s important that you built up rapport by making small talk for a couple of minutes.
You can talk about the weather, where they are from, etc.
It’s very helpful if you can find something that you have in common as this builds trust and relation.
After you’ve built some trust and connection, you will tell them what to expect in the next 20 minutes.
It’s also a good idea to let them know that you will be asking a lot of questions so you can be sure to present the right solution.
It’s best to wait to into the nitty gritty details until later on in the call. We’ll cover this in the next section.
2. Get into the Pain.
This is the part where you will really leverage the use of good questions.
After you’ve established how the meeting is going to go, you can begin to dig a little deeper into the need of the prospect.
Asking great questions is key to uncovering the pain.
Use some of the questions above to keep the conversation going and centered around the biggest problem they are facing right now as it pertains to your product or service.
When in this phase, let the prospect do the talking. Allow them to express themselves while you facilitate the conversation by asking great questions.
It’s called, “the pain” because unless the prospect is ready to confront their situation and be honest about it, you will have a tough time making a sale.
A person has got to be ready to take action in order for them to be open to buy into the product or service that you are selling.
So listen very closely to what the prospect is saying (and not saying).
3. Get into the Brain
This happens after the prospect has told you everything regarding his or her problem.
He or she is now ready for a solution! (If they are RIPE, read, interested, positive and eager).
If you asked great questions in the section above, this part is easy because they are ready to get their situation fixed.
Why “the brain”?
Well, because you will use logic to explain the solution that you have for them.
In the pain portion, your prospect told you what their problem is and what they’ve already tried to solve it.
They are likely to be frustrated at this point and ready for change.
So your job is to be clear, quick and confident that your service or product is what they need. (Of course, you want to make sure that it actually is exactly what they need.)
4. Win the game.
Obviously, our goal is to get paid in the first sales meeting.
While this is not always the case, you should aim to do such a good job in asking questions and explaining your solution that the prospect cannot wait to purchase your product or service.
If the prospect has a lot of objections and complaints, it’s indicative that you didn’t do a great job of helping them come to a solution.
Winning the game happens when you get paid.
At this stage of the call, asking questions will be a huge benefit to you as well.
Because it will help you uncover the real reason your prospect is objecting to buying your product or service.
Most of the time, you are going to need to overcome an objection or two before sealing the deal. But the better you were at the first few phases, the easier this last one will be.
How NOT to ask questions
When your asking questions, make sure you are not interrogating your prospect.
What do I mean by that?
Well, if you are machine-like in your questions, you’ll come across as a judge who is interrogating a suspect.
Do not do this.
The best way to ask questions is to implement the sandwich method.
The sandwich method basically implies that you ask a question, say something that relates to the answer your prospect gave you and then revert to asking another question.
So you ask a question, show relation, ask another question. This method is very effective in a sales encounter scenario and will help your prospect to trust you more.
How do you convince a prospective client to buy from you?
If you handle the sales meeting correctly, you won’t need to do a lot of convincing the prospect to buy from you.
Why? Because you allowed him or her to tell you about their problem.
Furthermore, you asked great questions that brought out the pain, even more, making them feel the urgency to get their problem solved.
Here are a few things that you need in order to “sell” a client on your product or service:
1. Be sold on your product or service yourself
2. Ask great questions that uncover the real needs and wants of a client
3. Be clear on what you offer and don’t talk yourself out of the sale (this happens more than you think. It’s best to be quiet when you’re closing the sales than to talk to much.)
4. Never beg someone to buy from you. Establish value, explain your solution, then focus the conversation back on the prospect.