Learn how to ask sales questions that lead to high-quality interactions with customers and clients. This tutorial teaches why business insights are important and how having these prepared provides the basis for your question set.
- There's a very fine line between asking appropriate sales questions and making the prospect feel as though they're in the middle on an interrogation. Think of it this way. If you're out socially and you meet a person for the first time, a certain amount of questions from them is normal, as long as they're within the subjects that you're comfortable talking about and pertain to the conversation at hand. If they ask questions about your favorite sports team or family members, well, these are usually questions that we're happy to answer because the subject is interesting to us and we're comfortable talking about it.
However, if they start digging into things like your income or your bank account balances, we're likely to end that conversation quickly and really question that person's motives. The same can happen in your sales calls when it comes time to dig in and ask questions. The first key to having balance here is making sure that the questions that you're asking revolve around a subject that the prospect is interested in and provides value to them. So how do you do this? Not surprisingly, preparation is the key.
This is the step in the sales process where we create insights for the prospect. These insights serve a number of purposes, the first of which is to help shake up the status quo of your prospect. We do this by sharing insights about their business that are of interest to them or should be of interest to those prospects. One of the keys to successful selling is the ability to create conversations with your prospect that actually elevate urgency and motivate them to take action, preferably, of course, with your product.
So how do you accomplish this? Providing relevant insights to a prospect about issues or challenges in their world is very engaging, and it draws the prospect into the conversation without feeling threatened. Generally speaking, we recommend preparing three specific insights ahead of time. For instance, if I were calling on you to buy our training program, I could share with you a statistic from a study that suggested that 89% of buyers felt that there was no commercial value to their organization when they met with a salesperson.
This is an insight. Now notice, it isn't my opinion, rather, it's third-party data that not only demonstrates credibility but shows my knowledge of their world. To a buying organization, this could be something we're sharing with them to make them aware that their salespeople need help creating better conversations with their prospects. If you're a large corporation, your marketing department likely has insights for you to leverage. If you're a small company, you yourself may already have them.
In order for your prospect to change, they need a reason to change beyond just your opinion. Insights provides that information and gives them a reason to listen further. So what application does this have to asking sales questions? People are happy to discuss things that they're interested in or that provide value to them. These insights provide a fantastic foundation for asking questions. For now, start thinking about what types of insight you can share with your prospects.
I suggest the insight be based on data such as a survey or study that was done in your industry. I have found that the best practice is to have three of these to share and to use as a foundation for your conversations, and subsequently, the sales questions during your needs analysis. Starting with insights is a critical component to asking successful sales questions. It will not only gain your prospect's attention, but allow you to stand out as a knowledgeable resource right out of the gate.