Think back to the last time you went out to purchase a product you knew just enough about to be dangerous but not enough about to feel confident you could make the right choice. This might have been a technology based product. I realize you probably aren’t selling a product. You are selling a service. Yet this example is just as relevant to you as it is to the sales rep selling products.
In reality no matter what you are buying you have a mental checklist of the things you think you want, and the things you think you don’t want before you go to the store. When you get to the store you start comparing products against that mental checklist. You are able to determine whether or not a particular product fulfills the items on your checklist on your own.
However, there are usually at least a couple things you can’t seem to find the answer to on your own. So you search out a sales person for help or perhaps a sales person notices you might need help. At any rate you ask the sales person a question.
Here’s what usually happens. The sales person simply answers “yes” or “no”. It’s too bad their guardian angel doesn’t immediately whap them upside the head with a nerf bat.
That “yes” or “no” response presents a 50-50 chance the sales person has just lost the sale. You allow that to happen to you when you are talking with a prospect too. Wait… it gets even worse.
All too often you not only respond “yes” or “no” you then follow that up by trying to tell the prospect their objection isn’t valid. At that point you have really blown it. You have probably made a none recoverable mistake and lost the sale.
Worse yet this mistake is entirely avoidable.
Let’s say a prospect asks you a question about whether your product or service has a certain feature. It doesn’t. Rather than simply responding “no” ask these questions…
- Is that important?
- What do you want to accomplish?
- How will you use that?
When you ask questions like these rather than just responding “yes” or “no” you now engage the prospect and find out exactly what the prospect wants and why. You then have the ability to focus on what the prospect really needs. You and the prospect may find out they don’t really want that feature they want to achieve something else and they need another feature to do what they want.
There may be another way to do what they want and complete the sale.
Bottom line ask more questions and listen.