April 14, 2011

Plan Your Sales Message by Asking Questions

The Sales
Messenger book
You must know what your customer needs, wants, and their motivation for buying before you can begin to sell your product or service to them.Giving the same pitch to everyone will often result in few sales.Instead, learn to ask questions to get at the root of the customers problem so you can then help them understand how what you are selling solves their particular problem.
So the customer does not feel like they are being interrogated verses being partnered with to solve their problem, start by asking their permission to present your questions.Here is an example of how to start "To make the best use of our time when we are together, my purpose at this time is to get your answers to a few questions.Do you mind it I ask them?"
After you have permission, start by asking open-ended questions to find out what your customer is doing in the area that your product or service can help with.Do NOT try to sell at this time or ask about how they may use a competitor.Instead focus on their current use, their needs, their desires, and possible objections they have to technology or problems they encounter with other things they have tried.Listen closely to their responses and take notes.This should be a give-and-take session with the customer.You can use the notes later to customize a presentation or do a follow-up discussion with the customer.
Below are some ideas for ways to start questions that get the customer thinking about current or potential problems.You can use the answers to help build your case when you are ready to present your product or service.
·         Are you aware…?
·         Does it concern you …?
·         Could there be a problem if …?
·         What would happen if …?
·         According to …?
·         How would it fell if/to…?
·         Did you know …?
It takes building relationships through understanding of your customer and their specific needs to make a sale.It may take several phone calls and meetings before a sale can be completed.Keep the individual customer in mind when building the relationship and you will eventually get that order.
*NOTE: The questions above come from chapter 5 in The Sales Messenger: 10 Lessons for Sales Success in Your Business and Personal Lives book by Mary Anne Davis. Click the IPG link to hear a podcast interview with the author about the new book from Inside Personal Growth.

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