Archive for April, 2008

Good question makes better sales calls

Starting a sales call by talking about your product is easy…particularly if you believe in what you do. Having a rehearsed opening, and listing all the benefits, is a standard approach for many salespeople. The problem is… only if you are lucky, will one of those benefits actually be of interest to the client. You may find that a fair percentage of your calls languish or fail if this is how you start.

Try starting a sales call with a question. Do your homework first so you know some answers before you ask the question. For example: look at their website, read a brochure, do a Google search, walk their store, quiz the receptionist…and more… Knowing the answer before you ask it will prevent you from asking the wrong question that ends a conversation. The best questions will hook your prospective client into a relevant discussion.  Get them talking about the problem you can solve and what life will be like for them when that issue is checked off their “to-do” list.

Master salesmen never ask a question they don’t already know the answer to…and they have also already thought of the follow-up question(s) they will ask next. For example, a simple opening question might be about how business is going.  Ask — what do they see are the opportunities and problems today? You will learn a lot and it will help you frame the rest of your whole sales presentation. 

The next question is critical…it must be specifically about an area where you can help them and establishes why you are taking their time. You need them to tell you why they want you there and how to proceed. Good questions will tell you what benefits to emphasize later. 

I always like asking the question, “What do you like about the current solution you want to replace?”…then head towards the “don’t likes.” It creates a more positive feel to the discussion.


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admin on April 4th 2008 in Coaching