Ask This Exact Question To Unearth Your Prospect’s Needs

Written by Sean McPheat | Linkedin thumb

Hand Stealing Idea Light BulbHow many times have you presented your products to a prospect and got a flat refusal or, at the very least, an objection?

‘Tell me about it, Sean’ I hear you say. ‘Like….every time I present?’

Yes, it’s one of those almost inevitable things that happen, isn’t it?

Most salespeople will say that it’s inevitable because not every prospect will want our products or need what we’ve got to offer.

Of course, you won’t get a sale every time, but sometimes it’s actually your own fault rather than the prospects.

How will you know that your product benefits are really benefits to this particular client?

It’s a good question and one that needs to be answered before you present solutions.

My Head of Training was associated with the motor industry for over 20 years and he once told me that salespeople could highlight over 300 features for every car.

If salespeople were to bring up even some of them, chances are that many of them would fall on stony ground.

So how can you determine if your product benefits are really benefits to the prospect you are presenting to?

Yes, the simple answer is to ask them!

Let’s imagine that you’re selling TV’s and a specific one is less than two inches thick.

What’s the benefit?

Well, it takes up less space.

But it’s only a benefit if space is an issue to the prospect.

So the way to approach it is to ask if space is one actor that is going to influence their decision.

If you point it out and they say ‘that’s not relevant’, you’ve made yourself look embarrassed.

Instead, find out what’s important to the prospect before making a benefit-statement.

If space is important, you can bring up the point that the TV is only two inches thick.

You might be selling new cars and are quick to point out that this new model has a 0-60mph time of 7.9 seconds.

Is this a real benefit?

Only to those people to whom acceleration is an important issue.

So, during your investigation stage, you might ask, ‘what’s most important to you in the car?’

If they then say that acceleration is important, then they would be interested in the 0-60mph time.

So, it’s important to find out what the prospect finds important in the product before presenting the benefits.

So use the question “What’s most important to you with/in/for…*INSERT PRODUCT OR SERVICE*” and then you can provide the benefits that are most suitable to the prospect.

If you don’t, you stand the chance of introducing benefits that aren’t really benefits at all, and that’s when it’s possible that objections may come up.

Happy selling!


Sean McPheat

Sean McPheat
Managing Director

MTD Sales Training | Image courtesy of Big Stock Photo

450 sales questions free report

Originally published: 23 June, 2016

Related Articles

Arrow down

Search For More

Arrow down