How to Sell

  • Buyers are more educated than ever before. 

  • You need to focus more on understanding your prospect's world

    • ask intelligent questions.

      • Intelligent use of each of the question types will encourage your prospect to show his or her true feelings about whatever subject is under discussion.

    • ask a whole lot more questions and speak a whole lot less.

    • seek to understand what's going on in the other person's world.

    • Set strict limits on your own "talk time." 

      • Keep it under 60 seconds. 

      • Never speak for more longer than this without asking for approval to continue. 

  • Build a business rapport with prospects, and they'll be less likely to tune out while you're delivering your pitch.

  • Then and only then will your ideas be accepted and understood by the prospect.

 

  • Open-ended "prompting" questions

    • Approval comes when you ask open-ended questions. 

    • Generally speaking, these questions cannot be answered with a simple yes or no.

      • Do not lead, control or try to manipulate the other person.

      • Enable dialoging. 

      • Begin with the words "when," "what," "how," "why" or "where" which require thought to be answered.

      • Encourage the other person to reveal feelings.

      • Build rapport.

  • Closed-ended questions

    • Unlike those above, put an end to effective dialoging 

    • Will not get you any closer to a second appointment. 

    • One example of a closed-ended question might be, "You're interested in
      attracting more clients, right?"

    • Therefore, you should totally avoid this type of questioning as a means of getting approval to move on.

    • The best place to use the closed-ended question is in a situation where you need to validate or confirm what you think is
      going on in your prospect's world. 

    • Generally speaking, closed-ended questions:

      • Are useful to give feedback during a dialog.

      • Can be used to obtain specific information and/or confirm facts.

  • Clarifying questions

    • Used during a dialogue, if you need to make sure that you've heard the prospect correctly. 

    • These questions win you a fresh 60 seconds. 

    • A good clarifying question might begin with the words, "If I understand you correctly, you're saying that...". 

    • Warning: 

      • you should always preface your clarifying question with a statement such as the one above and then paraphrase what you think your contact's main point is.

      • Be creative. It's a really bad idea to parrot back what you've just heard your prospect say. 

      • That approach may be perceived as condescending, sarcastic and disrespectful. 

    • Generallyspeaking, clarifying questions:

      • Secure the other person's approval and prove to a greater degree that you've got a good understanding of what he or she said.

      • Express in your own words what you just heard.

      • Clear up differences in the definition of words and phrases being used.

      • Clarify the meaning of "global" words (like "always" and "never").

  • Developmental questions

    • Typically, once you clarify with your prospect, you can then use a developmental question to move the dialog in a desired direction to further understand the prospect's purpose and/or result he or she wants to achieve. 

    • These questions, too, can win you another 60 seconds of time to talk--once the contact has responded to your question, of course.

    • Generally speaking, developmental questions:

      • Encourage the other person to elaborate on what he or she just said.

      • Begin to make it possible for the other person to show his or her true feelings about the topic at hand.

      • Obtain further definition of what's under discussion.

  • Directional questions

    • Optionally, you can also use a directional question to win another 60 seconds.

    • These questions steer the dialog to a certain direction that a developmental question just uncovered. 

    • Directional questions are like a roadmap of your conversation and allow the dialog to take another path, one that's beneficial to uncovering the prospect's purpose and needs. 

    • Generally speaking, directional questions:

      • Move the dialog from one logical topic to another.

      • Invite the other person to participate in an informational exchange.

      • Can be used to replace a closed-ended question you were tempted to ask.

      • Important: 

        • Don't fall into the trap of using directional questions to control or manipulate the prospect in any way. 

        • This will destroy any business rapport you've built and reduce your chances of getting a second appointment.

  • Opinion questions

    • Can use to earn another 60 seconds of talk time. 

    • Extremely helpful in revealing where a prospect stands on any particular issue, 

    • Can be used to give you more insight into someone's unique needs. 

    • A nonthreatening way to ensure that the other person is actually engaged in the dialog. 

    • As a general rule, opinion questions:

      • Ask a direct question in a nonconfrontational way.

      • Get the other person to speak frankly and openly.

      • Allow the opportunity to share feelings.

      • Show esteem and respect for the other person.

      • Help to extend and prolong dialogues.

  • Social proof questions

    • Use what I call a social proof question to justify another 60 seconds of talk time. 

    • An indirect way of getting the prospect to realise that his situation is similar to that of other people you've worked with. 

    • As with any other reference to a third party, there is a good chance that your contact will respond favorably to what you cite within the question. 

    • Beware that there is a chance that the social proof you introduce will be looked upon as competitive or irrelevant to what's being discussed. 

    • Generally speaking, social proof questions:

      • Introduce a third party that is relevant to the discussion.

      • May increase confidence that you can address the purpose and needs of the other person.

      • Validate the other person's reasoning.

      • Can be used to address concerns or problems before they arise.

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