It’s a numbers game: why you should have at least 40 questions
Do your sales team ask enough open-ended questions? Do they have over 100 questions and regularly use over 40 (different questions for different clients)?
Or are they defaulting and reeling out the same questions to each client?
Note, the longer they are in the job – the more this ‘default behaviour’ happens and with that comes the assumption that ‘I know the answer’ or ‘I’ve worked with that sort of client/business’ before they’ve asked the question and gone deep on what THAT particular client is about.
The sales people who have more than half of their questions as ‘open’* questions end up getting more business.
Because then the prospective/current client gets to discuss and explain their situation. Open questions get them talking: you need THEM talking (it shouldn’t be you or your BDMs talking. The only talking they should be doing early on is asking intelligent questions).
Are they ‘present’ with each client, really focusing on what they are saying (rather than their focus on the answers and how their solution can help).
Asking many (meaningful, relevant) questions does two things for a commercial win-win: it creates right perception of how you do business to your client and then it does something for you too.
- Your Client’s perception of you
It sets in the mind of your prospective client (and current client when you go in and ask questions) that you care, that you are seeking to understand them and their needs, wants and desires. When you stop banging on about your solution and put the focus on them and their unique needs the client loves it.
Ensure questions are meaningful and relevant. When it’s clear you are driven to really ‘get’ what’s going on, so you can assist them the relationship shifts from ‘selling AT them’ to ‘understanding them’ and everyone feels it.
Often, we don’t think about this, but this is fundamentally the core reason someone is buying from you – because you are seeking to understand them.
- What it does for you
It sets you up to gain information, for maximum intel.
- You now get their needs, wants, desires, beliefs and so much more!
- You now know why they like your offer/ or not.
- Why they buy the competitor/or not, what is motivating and driving them, fears, timing everything…
You are in a strong position to now align with what they need. Only discussing the features and benefits of your solution which appeals to them.
*open question is anything where they need to explain eg. ‘Do you prefer X or Y when purchasing?’ (closed question) vs ‘Take me through what you are after when you are purchasing?’ (open question).
What’s next you ask?
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