The question of ‘why’ provides insight that leads us to being able to expand opportunity. Some people may be put off by the style of questioning. But by sticking to the method, we qualify the better matching clientele. Those who appreciate the request for additional insight will return the favor with extra business.
Connecting with an acquaintance by phone had us sharing both business and childhood experiences. His communication style translates well to his former career as a journalist. To my surprise, John shares a number of my views on the better business model.
Obtaining a commitment from others requires that we:
- Always use the method of ‘question, listen, clarify’ to gain a deeper understanding
- Ask ‘why’ to develop the personal insight and a closer connection
- Approach business as a collaborative effort
Another vital ingredient for gaining client loyalty is helping them discover a better solution. Telling-selling never works. When we attempt to understand our prospect’s situation first and then ask both ‘why’ and ‘what if’ questions, a collaborative effort follows.
Prospective clients begin to sense that we are attempting to do our best on their behalf. Slowly but surely trust builds, and they start to share more sensitive information that leads to a more robust solution. In sales we refer to this as a win-win. The client is happy with the investigative questioning. Their satisfaction develops into providing additional sales and further opportunity.
Consider whether you take the time upfront to get to know your client and their company well. The hard fact to come to terms with is if you attempt to push sales. Anxiety about payroll or meeting quota has to be left behind before the conversation begins.
The only sign to beware is that of a client not wanting to help with implementing the solution. Some people do not have the level of commitment others possess. Our duty to ourselves is to qualify the level of motivation for improvement that we seek from another.
Although putting the sale at a slower pace, these questions are necessary too:
- Why do you believe the problem exists
- How long have you been dealing with the issue
- Have you made attempts to resolve it
- What do you believe is missing from previous tries
- How do you see future improvement
- How do you see me being of service
Once all of the above questions are answered, and you are clear on all counts, ask ‘what do you think about…?’ If they like the idea great, and if not inquire as to why not. Delve into their belief (right or wrong) and previous experiences. Through the question and answer, together you will find their preference for proceeding.
While it may appear as if an overabundance of questions are suggested, they each produce the extra insight to make the first and recurring sales. Likewise, the client will feel comfortable asking their questions. It is the back and forth dialogue that produces a stronger relationship and further builds the business.
Any time you have doubts about a suggestion, the best action to take is to give it a try to see if it works. The only exception is if the idea violates your idea of integrity, then pass on it. When you experiment with the more appealing ideas, new possibilities come forth that expand the opportunity.
Sales Tips to Expand Opportunity
- Begin conversations by asking the motivation for inviting you for a meeting
- Eliminate judgment upfront
- Be open to all ideas
- Test the suggestions that appeal to you most
- Quiz your clients about their thought on new ideas
- Work collaboratively on a robust solution
- Bring in counterparts to meetings when you need the help
- Be flexible with fixing errors and improving the delivery
- Ask for feedback on how to further enhance services
- Celebrate Success!
Today’s blog is provided to help you achieve The Smooth Sale!
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