What Questions Should You Be Asking In Your Next Sales Encounter?

We have been covering the six elements of sales encounter planning.  Regardless of the methodology or tools you use to plan each sales encounter, you should cover these six elements:

  1. Research
  2. Value Proposition
  3. Questions
  4. Advances
  5. Unexpected Value
  6. Agenda

In our last post we covered your Value Proposition and this week we cover Questions.

Questions

The information gathering and value-adding questions you intend to ask your prospective client should be developed prior to your encounter.  True value-adding questions are those to which the client does not already know the answer.  They require thought, encourage reflection, and advance the conversation into new territory.  When we prompt our prospect’s higher-level thinking we are literally adding value.  Asking tough, powerful questions define you as a consultant and communicate that you have a genuine intent to help. You should prepare two or three high-value questions for every encounter.

Questions For Planning Your Questions

Consider the following when developing questions for your next sales encounter:

  1. What additional information do I need that has not been answered by my research?
  2. What information questions do I intend to ask the client?
  3. What is the priority of each question? If I’m not able to ask all of my questions, which should I ask first?
  4. What high-value questions do I intend to ask?
  5. What questions can I ask that will stimulate and facilitate my prospect’s understanding?

All of these are important as you plan your encounter.  However, the high-value questions you ask are likely to have the greatest impact on your sale.  This is an important topic and rather than repeat it I’ll point you to our more in-depth coverage of it here:

Why Poor Questions Hurt Your Sales And How to Create High-Value Questions Instead

The Right Questions Are Inherently Valuable

Because high-value questions require planning before each meeting they differentiate you from competitors in a very big way.  Most importantly however, the right questions are perceived as valuable to your client.  They build rapport and trust, they establish you as a consultant, and they prove that you and the client are aligned in your interests.  Repeating this experience with clients and prospects during each encounter trains them to see you as a trusted adviser which keeps you close to them during and after the sale.

If you’re interested in exploring this subject even further, I highly recommend Deb Calvert’s book DISCOVER Questions Get You Connected.  I agree with her statement, “There is no easier and more affordable way to create genuine, personalized value for each and every buyer.”

You can watch a video of this of this and other concepts on THIS presentation I did for The Sales Experts Channel.

Your time with your prospect is limited so it’s important that you invest time in preparing and prioritizing the questions you will ask during your sales encounter.  Doing so will increase the impact of your meeting many times overs.

Closing Tip:  Invest time in preparing and prioritizing the question you will ask during your sales encounter.

Until next time!

James

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