Sales Training: Know What to Ask

selling, marketingIt’s interesting to observe that companies spend a lot of money on sales training that tells salespeople what to say, but there is little spent on teaching them what to ask! I believe that the key to successful selling is asking good questions. This is our topic in this Monday is for Marketing feature. Learn to ask questions, but realize that not just any question will do! Actually, I’ve seen prospects and customers be completely turned off by the poor quality of questions salespeople ask. The key is asking good questions. The quality of your selling depends on the quality of your question! Asking bad questions or poorly planned questions can do much more harm than good. So this requires some thoughtful preparation. We have to ask questions:
  • To identify new opportunities,
  • To qualify leads,
  • To uncover needs,
  • To find out who the decision-maker really is,
  • To best position your solution,
  • To smoke out any objections, and
  • To find out what else needs to occur to close a transaction.
The problem is that typically, salespeople ask the same old, tired questions. Customers and prospects get tired of hearing them. As a result, they are not interested in listening to our sales presentations. I may have a great story to tell, but no one is going to want to hear it if I bore them with my initial questions. My experience has proven that what questions I ask and how I ask them is more important than what I say! The questions have to be sincere, fresh, meaningful, and insightful. They should make prospects want to respond. They should pique the prospect’s interest and they should establish our credibility. However, asking good questions does not come naturally for most of us. This is a skill that can and should be learned. It simply takes a little time, thoughtfulness, curiosity, and reflection. It also takes practice. As a business coach serving clients in the Houston area, I get the privilege of working with executives, business owners, and sales professionals in a large variety of industries. Every industry and every person is unique. So don’t try to “wing it.” You’ll waste a lot of time and miss a lot of opportunities. Be prepared. Work on your questions. Learn to be an insightful listener. Make it your goal to ask better questions than your competition! And if you are in the Sugar Land, Katy, or Houston area, and would like an hour to work on your sales strategy or selling conversation, contact us. We are always happy to give local folks a 1-hour complimentary strategy session!

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