Category Archives: questioning strategy
Moving Beyond Price: Differentiating Yourself through a Consultative Selling Approach
When we interview our clients to learn why they picked us for a sales training solution, the reason we hear given most often isn’t what you might expect. Although we offer comprehensive sales solutions, exceptional customization capabilities, outstanding facilitators, and many other tangible strengths, the reason we hear the most is that “you were the best fit.” When we look further into that answer, we usually hear phrases, such as “you really got our business and our culture” and “we had confidence in your ability to deliver what we need.” In a time when buyers have instant access to volumes of information at their fingertips, soft factors still matter. They can matter a lot.
As a sales professional, you work in a world where your competitors may be able to match you in price, product quality, and even features. So, how do you convince a potential client to buy from you? You must use a consultative selling approach to help differentiate your solution and yourself from your competitors. You don’t just offer yourself as someone who can supply good solutions; you offer yourself as someone who is fully vested in the client’s success, not just someone trying to sell to the client. You strive to be the best “fit.”
So, how do you become the best fit? This process starts with preparation before the conversation. You need to identify the » Continue Reading.
The Best Sales Questions to Engage Your Prospects
“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” — Benjamin Franklin
Salespeople who call on prospects or clients without well-researched, well-prepared sales questions to ask are likely to walk away knowing little more than when they began.
The four main objectives in any initial sales dialogue should be these:
To establish yourself as a credible professional and partner by being prepared and thoughtful in the sales questions that you ask To seek to understand the prospect’s current situation, which includes an effort to validate what you’ve researched or the assumptions that you’ve made To uncover a broader and deeper range of information, from strategic objectives to immediate business needs To seed new ideas to either influence or disrupt the prospect’s current thinking Asking Open Ended Sales Questions
With those four objectives firmly in mind, your next step is to develop a series of open-ended questions that you will ask to engage clients in a meaningful dialogue. Sequence your sales prospecting questions to create a flow. Forget about yes-or-no sales questions. Don’t provide multiple-choice answers. You want each question to elicit a thoughtful answer from the prospect’s or client’s point of view.
What is the initiative we’re here to talk about today? What is the driving force behind this initiative? Why is now the right » Continue Reading.
What’s your Questioning Strategy?
Asking to be a strategic advisor to your client usually never happens. But, having the right questioning strategy can build the credibility required to become one.
The questions that you ask and the way that you ask them can define how you operate and how you are perceived by clients.
Do you ask the questions that get you paid? These questions are your bread and butter; they’re part of your comfort zone. These questions allow you to position your solution and the need for your product or service. These are what we call “current situation questions” — questions that probe how the client is currently operating, his/her level of satisfaction with the operations, and facts about how he/she does business.
All good questions, but they’re the wrong places to start.
The best first questions are strategic ones that explore the client’s main objectives. What is he/she trying to accomplish? What are his/her key priorities and objectives? Why did he/she decide to change from X strategy to Y?
Why should we ask these questions first? Because we don’t want to focus on our agenda; we want to focus on the client’s. At this point, we want the client to talk about what is most important to him/her. We want the client to take the conversation — and us — where he/she wants it to go, not where we want it to go.
Some people think that asking too many » Continue Reading.