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It Never Hurts To Ask

by Doug Davidoff | Oct 4, 2006 12:13:00 PM

What is the best way to find out what a potential customer thinks? Why not ask them? It seems obvious, doesn't it? But, for some reason, salespeople have a difficult time with this concept. Despite all of the books written about it and all of the money invested in training salespeople how to ask good questions, average salespeople always seem to fall into guessing and telling.

I understand the motivation. In the heat of the moment, on a sales call, it may seem much more effective (and certainly easier) to just tell the prospect what you do. Oftentimes, the salesperson knows what is needed anyway – and the prospect is ‘asking’ for the salesperson’s expertise. On the surface, telling seems to make sense.

Don’t fall for it. Remember – you are always one question away from what is really going on in the prospect’s mind. I’ve witnessed many sales calls. Very rarely does a salesperson make the mistake of asking too many questions. However, I’ve regularly seen sellers make the mistake of assuming too much and, at the same time, telling too much.

I’ve debriefed many buyers following a sales call and I’ve never had a buyer complain that the only problem they had with the seller was that the seller just worked too hard to understand what the buyer really wanted.

Next time you think you know what the buyer is thinking – ask – you may be surprised of what you find out.

I’d like to help. If you would like an idea for a good question to get a conversation started, e-mail me the situation you are dealing with and I will respond with what I think may work. E-mail your sales situation to ‘question@maginellc.com’ and put ‘Sales Question’ in the subject line. (BTW, apologies for not putting a link here – unfortunately, I’ve been overwhelmed by spam when I gave a link before).