A Sales Manager asked me recently what the best questions for his sales team are to ask his customers to close more business deals. Had he asked me when we were in his office, I could have asked what challenges his sales team was experiencing.
With about 20 seconds remaining before the elevator door opened on the ground floor again, my initial response was,
‘Well, it depends on several factors, such as –
a. On the customer's problem that needs solving.
b. On the Sales Person.
c. On the outcome objective for both parties.
I didn't want to dismiss his question, so I sent him a summary follow-up e-mail.
Salespeople know that closing a sale can be challenging, but asking the right questions can help seal the deal.
Here are ten typical sales questions to ask a customer to help you close a sale:
Now, let's dig a little deeper! This technique is used in sales to understand and communicate with customers more effectively. Here are ten more advanced questions that you can ask a customer to help you close a deal:
So, what’s the difference, you might be thinking? The above questions are structured differently to invite the listener to associate internally (with the question being asked), visually, auditorily or kinaesthetically.
There are several categories of people, the main ones being auditory, visual, and kinaesthetic. People tend to fall into these representational systems. In simple terms, this means that some people associate better with images when compared to sound and vice versa, while others associate better with feelings or emotions.
When the salesperson identifies the language patterns that his customer most associate with, they communicate using the same patterns, which increases rapport and shared understanding.
Some people can relate to this when a customer says, ‘He understands our problem’ or ‘He gets it’.
You may have heard that decisions are based on emotions, not necessarily on fact or logic. You’ve heard the expression, ‘I just had a gut feeling …’.
The other factor that significantly impacts a salesperson’s performance is his mindset – what he is thinking, his own (limiting) beliefs, his composure and exhibited confidence. Finally, whether he is a good listener or an extraordinary PowerPoint presenter.😉
Other sales techniques training that we provide include –
I have seen salespeople literally almost self-implode when their customers ask them to discount their price, while others can sell snow to Eskimos in winter. What!!!???
Some salespeople get all defensive when told their competitor’s offering is better and cheaper, while others close the sale regardless. How is this even possible???
How do some salespeople double the $-order value, even when no budget was allocated to this additional investment? This is crazy!
I even hear that some salespeople are so lucky all of the time! Can you believe it???
Heck, we haven't even spoken about the Language Patterns of Influence, such as -
If I could show you a simple way to get people to pay twice as much attention to what you're saying, would you be interested? People buy benefits, so if you want to get their attention, tantalise them with a benefit they really value.
→ If I could show you a simple way that you could cut your production costs in half, would you be interested? You can even throw in a crafty "just buy" embedded command.
→ If I could show you a simple way that you can increase your sales team's performance by 20% just by using our products, would you be interested?
It's those people again. And the word "agree" becomes the first word of a command, a tough one to disobey when it comes right after your name.
→ People who have already decided to work with our company, David, agree that the results we deliver are second to none.
→ People that have already decided to purchase this product, Susan, agree that this is a fantastic deal.
When you predict the objection you're likely to get, you can overturn it in advance. Just state the objection in a painfully whiny tonality, then use a pleasant tone of voice to tell them what to think.
→ Some people say to me "It's so expensive", but I know that you already realise what a sound investment you're making.
→ Some people say to me "It's not the right time for this", but I know that your company isn't willing to hide its head in the sand.
When you say "Experience shows", it can confer an air of authority. If you then talk about other people, you start to build consensus, one of the core principles of influence.
→ Experience shows that people who buy our products really enjoy them.
→ Experience shows that companies who use our approach cut their costs by around 15%.
→ Experience shows that people who learn these patterns become extremely influential.
In my experience, I have never witnessed a salesperson or sales team that couldn't benefit from advanced sales training. The results are exponential when compared with the investment value. You know that it just makes sense.
Why Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail: The Power of Business Planning
By Martin Kirk on Mar 8, 2023