Do you know the difference between a crocodile salesperson and an elephant salesperson? The crocodile salesperson is all mouth, no ears. The elephant sales person is all ears, little mouth.
If you spend all your time talking, you miss the chance to hear what your prospect is thinking and wanting, which is a surefire way to miss making the sale. Recently Jessika Ferm of J.Ferm, LLC and I came up with our top seven questions that can best draw out what is motivating your prospects to buy.
1. What are your goals? –If you don’t know what they’re trying to accomplish, how can you know if you can help them? Don’t assume you know what is motivating your prospect right now. Let them tell you. You might be completely surprised by the real reasons.
2. If you reach your goals by using our product/service how would your life/business be different? – Let the prospect identify the benefits that matter most. This question also help you determine if you can realistically help.
3. What is one of your most important challenges right now? – Pain
problems are bigger motivators than gain problems. It would be nice to upgrade the kitchen sink, but it’s more likely to happen when it’s sprung a leak. Find out what pain problems are motivating your prospect.
4. How long has this been a problem? – It’s helpful to understand how big of a pain the problem is.
5. What have you done so far? – Knowing what has and hasn’t worked may help shape your approach toward a solution.
6. Why is it important to you to act on it right now? – Sometimes people are motivated, sometimes they’re not. As a salesperson, it is extremely helpful for you to know which of your prospects is ready to buy. If it isn’t the right time and they’re not motivated, the best thing might be to work out a plan to keep in touch, rather than try to force things.
7. What is the cost of things remaining the same? – We all tend to focus on the cost of things, but doing nothing also has a cost. This question is a good reminder of that.
Remember, don’t just ask the question, really listen to the answer. As an action step, try picking something from the list above and using it with your next prospect. Notice what happens.
Barbara Wayman, president of BlueTree Media, LLC, publishes The Stand Out Newsletter, an award-winning ezine for people who want to know how to leverage the power of marketing and public relations. Get your free subscription today at http://www.bluetreemedia.com
This article may be reprinted when the copyright and author bio are included.
©2010 Barbara Wayman, BlueTree Media, LLC.