WHY are you asking that question?

In The What? Edition of A Chip off the Block, I started by talking about intention…

The purpose and “why” behind even bothering to ask questions is something we don’t talk about often in sales.

Today I’m asking you to live with intention and begin to examine the questions you’re asking prospects and customers:

Who Will Benefit?

One of my biggest pet peeves is the self serving sales questions. You know, the ones we ask and the prospect can’t answer…. “how will answering this question help ME

I am not saying a salesperson isn’t asking questions to help move through the sales process – let’s face it, that is the real reason we’re even TALKING to the prospect in the first place!

What I am saying is that we MUST have a dual intention:

  • what I want to know
  • how telling me will help them

Need an example?

  • what I want to know = the criteria used to pick the vendor
  • how telling me will help them = my proposal will include all the info they need to make a decision the 1st time

Now every good salesperson has a quick list of questions they ask. Take a moment and write all of yours down (ok so not all, that would take forever – how about your Fav 5).

Play along, you’ve got the question, now answer my dual intention inquiry about all five of your questions:

First from your point of view (let’s face it that is what we REALLY care about right?)

  • what I want to know

Now turn around and figure out

  • how telling me will help them

Could you do it? Was it easy? Or when you started to think about what the question sounds like from their perspective, was it difficult.

Why Does It Matter?

Come on Lynn, it’s JUST a question! 

Being masterful at sales is all about conversations made up of questions and listening, so everything we do & all our success is ALL about a series of questions.

Plus, it matters because as I said in the newsletter…

If you don’t think that the person on the receiving end of the question can “hear” your intent, I beg to differ! 

If I ask you for a time in the past week where someone in your life asked you a question – but what they asked and what you heard were different- can you think of one?

the boss said “I need this on my desk 1st thing in the morning.”
you heard “You’d better stay and get this done before you leave!”

your significant other comments “Honey when is the last time we cleaned out the garage?”
you heard “Honey you’d better clean out the garage NOW.”

a child in your life wondered “What would happen if a dog ate crayons?”
you heard “I just fed your dog a whole box of crayons.”

Weird isn’t it, what do you think is going on in your prospects mind?

the salesperson asks “When will you be making that decision?”
the prospect heard “I want to know when I’ll get my order.”

Again, I challenge you to think about WHY you are asking that question and figuring out how it will help the prospect before you open your mouth.

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