Written by Sean McPheat |
We’ve all been there….
You’re at a sales meeting with a prospect and you’re asked a question or for an opinion that completely throws you off guard!
You feel uncomfortable, you stumble through an answer and you go away thinking everyone thinks you’re stupid and that you’ve blown the deal!
The fact is, some people can think on their feet and come out with what seems to be well prepared answers whilst others find it difficult.
The people who find it difficult normally call the people who find it easy “blaggers!”
So, let’s assume that you need to blag, erhum, I mean think on your feet more often – here is a neat little tip that you can use:
Prior to attending your sales encounters, identify questions you might be asked and how you will answer them. After a while, this practice will become second nature to you.
If you are asked a particularly difficult question, repeat the question to buy yourself some time but
don’t make it obvious and don’t do it everytime either!
Sometimes when you’re asked a question requiring a detailed answer, try constructing your answer with a brief three-part approach.
Begin with a comment on the background of the issue, followed by the current situation and then speak about possible future outcomes. This simple structure can be extremely valuable when you are caught off guard.
So, in summary:
1. REPEAT THE QUESTION or ACKNOWLEDGE THE STATEMENT
2. COMMENT ON THE BACKGROUND OF THE ISSUE
3. FOLLOW THAT WITH THE CURRENT SITUATION
4. THEN SPEAK ABOUT POSSIBLE FUTURE OUTCOMES
“I heard that your company were in a legal battle with a client over the product you are offering me today?”
REPEAT THE QUESTION or ACKNOWLEDGE THE STATEMENT “Yes you are 100% correct, we are in legal case with a client”
COMMENT ON THE BACKGROUND OF THE ISSUE
“…the client in question refused to have our engineers install the product. They did it themselves and broke the generator etc etc”
FOLLOW THAT WITH THE CURRENT SITUATION
“…they have now realised and acknowledged that they were to blame etc etc”
THEN SPEAK ABOUT POSSIBLE FUTURE OUTCOMES “…a great lesson came out from all of this. Even though we were not at fault, some good came out of it for our clients. All future installations made by our engineers will now be free of charge.
No other supplier offers that”
See what I mean?
You can turn even the most horrible questions around with a little structure to your thought process and answers.
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Originally published: 28 January, 2009
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