Ever been told that you have twice as many ears as mouths and that you should therefore listen twice as much as you talk? This is definitely true in sales. You have to get your prospect to do the talking, and the way to do that is by asking questions…
Asking questions serves many purposes. Questions help you analyse your prospect’s need and they help you identify his preferences. They also help you to control and lead the conversation and they show you are a good listener.
There are two types of questions: open questions and closed questions.
Closed questions can only be confirmed or denied, or left unanswered. Answers to a closed question can be yes, no, maybe, I don’t know. Possibly, likely, unlikely, doubtful etc. are all variations of yes, no, maybe or I don’t know.
Open questions start with why or what, who or how, which or when. They cannot be confirmed or denied; in order to be answerred they require something more- an explanation, for instance.
Open questions are great for analysing your prospect’s needs. They help you to identify any requirements your prospect may have, which allows you to make the right offer. If you ask a lot of open questions you are in control of the conversation. You give direction to where the conversation is going, which will greatly improve your chances of making a sale. A good example is “what type of laptop are you looking for?” Or, “which requirements do you think it needs to have?”
Closed questions are great tools that serve a few other purposes. You can ask a closed question to show your prospect that you are listening to him and that you understand his requirements, simply by summarising and repeating what he just told you.
For example, your prospect says: “I’m looking for a new laptop, it has to be cheap, but it also has to have a fast processor, and I want it to have a 15 inch screen.” You then repeat back: “ok, so if I understand correctly you’re looking for a 15 inch laptop that is fast but not too expensive?” Prospect says: “yes.”
You’ve just shown your prospect that you listened to him and that you understand him. This is a great way to win his trust. And, whats more, you got him to say yes! And of course we want our prospects to say yes as much as possible, because yes’es are confirmations, they are positive and most importantly, they lead to orders and they lead to sales.
So in your sales pitch, make sure you ask plenty of questions. They help you to analyse your prospect’s needs and requirements and they help you to control the conversation. They also help to build trust and get you confirmations, which in the end will lead to more sales. Now tell me: does that make sense to you? It does? Excellent!