In order to buy from you, your customer needs to feel confident that you understand them and they need to trust you.
One of the main ways we demonstrate that we understand our customers by asking powerful questions.
Powerful questions close the credibility gap and quickly get you to the heart of your prospects’ deepest reasons for wanting to buy. They lead to more open, contextualised and honest conversations and prepare the ground for true collaboration. Yes, successful sales people are successful collaborators!
It is important that a sales conversation is not an interrogation and that is why we use powerful questions. For example, when visiting your next new prospect, try these two powerful questions near the beginning of the meeting and watch how far it propels the conversation forward.
“What problem must you solve in the short term?”
“What is going to happen if you don’t get this solved?”
I use four different types of questions.
- Rapport Building Questions – show them I have done my homework and that I care about understanding them and helping them to succeed
- Qualifying Questions – establish whether they are likely to buy and whether the business is attractive to me
- Diagnostic Questions – understand the nature and depth of the problem/challenge they want to solve and the result they want to enable
- Usage Scenario Questions – demonstrate how I have provided solutions for similar problems in the past and explore how it might work for them
Remember to listen helpfully, checking in, and showing you understand what is being said.
The one who knows how to use questions effectively, understands the customer better and guides the conversation. These are the consistent sales performers.