Effective questioning is key when it comes to finding out what your prospect’s needs and values are. It equips you with the information you need to create a compelling and persuasive case for change. A lot of people think that consultative selling is the bee’s knees – that if you just ask a lot of questions, the prospect will think that you’re interested in them and you’ll get a lot of information that you can somehow cobble into a compelling proposal.
Let me tell you something: people don’t want to play “20 questions” anymore. You’re doing yourself a disservice if you ask too many questions, especially if they’re questions that you should already know the answers to before you walk in the room.
Take for example, “Tell me a little bit about your business.” Do you really need to ask your prospect to tell you about their business? If you think this is somehow going to show them you’re interested in their company, you’re wrong. Of course, you’re interested in their company – you’re there to sell them a product or service! All this does is demonstrate that you haven’t even done your due diligence on their industry, much less their company, before meeting your prospect.
Rather than asking a lot of questions, come prepared with a few well-thought-out, specific questions that are the result of thorough research that you conducted before the first meeting.
If you want to score bonus points, ask a question that suggests that this is not your first rodeo... that you’ve helped others in the prospect’s situation... that you know the questions to ask that will lay the groundwork for providing your prospect with genuine insights even before they hire you.
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