Asking the right questions can make or break a sale, idea, or even a whole business.
We’re constantly asking questions (sometimes without even actually asking a question) but we rarely plan out what we should be asking.
I ask the wrong questions all the time. For example, I almost always ask clients what they thought of a proposal instead of asking for the sale.
The Value of A Question
Have you ever thought about the value a question holds? It’s a portal into a universe of knowledge and insight (if you ask the right person anyways).
Asking the wrong questions can skew your entire project from achieving its goals.
If you don’t start out by gathering the right information you might not be selling the most suitable product to your consumer.
After all, you don’t often hear a car salesperson asking if you want your BMW in chicken or beef right?
The Right Questions (for the Sales Process)
What is your consumers’ desired outcome? How does your product or service help them arrive there?
Your questions should be based around this experience. Start by asking some very general questions about their pain points, and lead into questions that clearly link those pain points to the benefits you advertise.
Your questions should be designed to make the prospect fantasize about a better world using your offering.
Just as important as the content of those questions, however, is your delivery.
When we smell success in a sales conversation, we tend to get overzealous and start interrogating our prospects.
You’ll fare much better if you create a conversation around your prospect’s answers. Show that you empathize with them and understand their pain and needs.
Above all, make sure that you end by asking for the sale. Entrepreneurs have a tendency to hate selling, but you MUST overcome this hurdle if you want to…well, sell anything.
Here’s a few quick examples of good questions versus not so good:
- Is [specific pain point] a big problem for you? vs. How can I help you?
- Would [specific widget benefit] help you grow your business? vs. What are you looking for from a widget provider?
- Out of budget, timeframe, and quality, which is the priority? vs. What is most important to you when considering a widget vendor?