Written by Sean McPheat |
You’ve probably been on courses where you’ve discussed the different types of questions that are available to you.
You’ll have heard of open questions and closed questions.
You’ll be familiar with probing questions and possibly leading questions, too.
But the truth is that this can bog you down into thinking you’ve got to vary your questioning type and it can lead to confusion and a lack of flow in the conversation.
Instead, we recommend you think of your questioning session as one where you talk benefits every time.
This negates the need to be thinking “Have I asked enough open questions? Have I probed enough? Should I be asking more closed questions now?”
You just get bogged down in structure and forget why you are there in the first place!
Instead, think about how you can get the prospect to think of what you have in terms of how it will benefit them.
One way is to present a beneficial situation from another customer’s viewpoint and then ask the decision-maker if that appeals to them. It may sound something like this:
“Tom, many businesses in the construction industry have been able to save over 15% in their long-term buying cycles by using our preferred supplier status discounts. Is that something you’d benefit from too?”
“Rich, we’ve partnered with many large companies like yours here in (city) as a printer service who can provide quick turnaround options when their in-house services can’t achieve their objectives. Would you ever require a service like that?”
Both these examples use ‘benefit-statements” and a quick-fire question to follow up.
You offer a solution that other companies who use you have enjoyed in the past and then identify if that’s something they would be interested in.
This helps you see what is most important to the prospect.
Imagine setting out your proposal or presentation and after going through loads of information and then finding out the prospect has other needs and you’ve just wasted yours and their time!
A quick benefit statement, followed up with a specific question relating to that benefit may save you and them a lot of time.
These questions now allow you to open up the conversation to deeper questioning and a further examination of the prospect’s specific needs.
So, don’t waste your time thinking about the types of question you should ask….instead, think about the results you’ve achieved and see if those results would be of benefit to this particular prospect.
It creates a closer link between your products and their overall needs and speeds up the whole buying process too.
Originally published: 26 July, 2016
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