Stop Telling and Start Asking

I like salespeople who love their products. Enthusiasm is vital to success in sales. If the salesperson can’t get excited about what they are selling how will they ever get a prospect excited enough to buy it? 

But…

Great salespeople temper their enthusiasm long enough to ask questions. They discover what it is about their products that will excite and benefit their customers. Instead of telling prospects EVERYTHING about their products they ask questions. The answers help them determine how and even if, their product or service can help the customer. 

We’ve all come across a salesperson who begins their “pitch” by claiming to know exactly what we need. Aside from the fact that the most professional salespeople make presentations and not pitches, I just don’t buy from people who know exactly what I need before they ask me a single question.

I know salespeople don’t do it intentionally but they do great damage to their credibility when they tell before they ask. They appear interested in moving product whether it helps a customer or not. They seem to be purely transactional salespeople. 

The best salespeople ask the best questions. They almost always ask the most questions too. They ask questions that cause the customer to think a little. They also don’t mind a bit of silence while the customer is thinking. 

If you’re in sales and your prospects and customers can instantly answer any question you ask then it’s likely you’re not asking “deep” questions. Deep questions uncover your prospects real issues. Sometimes the prospect isn’t even aware of the seriousness of the issue. Questions help the sales professional bring it to the surface. Those deep questions help you, and sometimes the prospect too, understand what it would mean to resolve the issue once and for all. 

Ultimately deep questions help the sales professional know whether or not their product or service is a match for the prospect or customer. 

That’s vital because no ethical salesperson will ever sell or product or service that they know will not benefit the buyer in any way. 

Professional salespeople never “wing it” when it comes to asking questions. Some may not have specific questions prepared in advance. But all will certainly have the information they need well mapped out before they begin even an initial sales call. 

Odds are, and I’m mean no offense here, but odds are overwhelming that you are leaving important customer information buried for the simple reason that you’re not asking enough deep questions. 

If you’re in sales then ask more questions. In fact, even if you’re not in sales you should know that asking questions…and listening to the answers, is the fastest way to learn. I understand that some salespeople find asking questions to be scary, but I don’t understand why.

I mean after all, when was the last time you saw a headline in the newspaper that said, “Salesperson shot dead for asking a deep question? 

I’ve never seen that either so ask away! 

3 thoughts on “Stop Telling and Start Asking

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