The ONE Thing More Important Than Asking The Right Questions…

A good friend and associate sent me this advice the other day and I thought you’d be interested.

It’s from Grant Cardone, sales expert and author (emphasis within quote is mine):“You hear it again and again: “In sales, it’s important that you ask good questions.” Then you are likely to hear, “No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.” These are great sayings but sales people still seem to fail both these tests. Asking good questions, understanding the buyer’s true wants, needs and motivation all while demonstrating you truly care about the customer is vital to making the sale.

After studying sales and great sales people now for 25 years I have discovered the following common truth: The person that controls the sale is not the person asking the questions but the person that gets answers to their questions! Far too often a salesperson will go down a path of determining a client’s needs and never get an answer. You must get your questions answered even when the customer appears closed off and resistant to providing information. Asking questions is NOT control. Getting answers will allow you to control the sales cycle.”

As soon as I read it, I forwarded it over to a friend of mine who is a mental health therapist.

His immediate response: “Amen brother!”

He said many of his clients are understandably short with their answers when he is just starting to work with them. But within time, his clients begin to open up, which then makes his job easier.

After they start opening up, he can take control of therapy sessions and help them find solutions to their problems and needs.

This may sound weird, but I think that his job has a lot in common as yours.

While he isn’t trying to sell them a product per se, he is trying to get people to open up about why exactly they are sitting in his office.

Isn’t that a lot like your job? Aren’t you often pulling hairs to get something that will help you find a product that matches a prospect’s needs?

As Grant Cardone writes, getting answers is more important than anything you’ll do when trying to close a sale.

Here are three ways to get some answers from tip-lipped prospects and clients.

Ask warm-up questions. Diving right into your sales-related questions might be a bad idea when approaching someone who doesn’t appear to talk much. My advice is to ask simple questions to get them comfortable answering questions. For example, ask them where they live and ask if they can recommend a restaurant in that area. The information shared has nothing to do with your product, but it helps create the bond you need to sell it.

Mix it up between open-ended and closed questions. Asking all open-ended or closed questions is a conversation that will tire quickly. Mix it up to keep prospects on their toes. Use yes and no questions to set up an open-ended question.

Ask “non-question” questions. These are the questions that don’t have question marks at the end of them. Technically, they aren’t questions but they elicit answers you need. For example, “Tell me what you are looking for in…”

Be valuable.

John McCarthy

Managing Editor, Leads4Insurance.com

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