Did you enjoy what you had for dinner last night?
You are probably wondering what that question has to do with sales. Bear with me a moment and answer the question. Now, pause a moment and think about what you did when you read that question. Your mind probably flashed back to yesterday evening, and you saw a picture in your mind's eye of what you had for dinner. Then you recalled your response to the dinner and made a judgment that you did or didn't enjoy it. Here's the point. I was able to direct your thinking by asking you a question. You thought about what I wanted you to think about, and you thought about it in the way I wanted. That's an illustration of the power of a question. It directs an individual's thinking. That's what makes asking a good question the single-most effective thing you can do with a customer. A well-phrased, appropriately-timed question is your most powerful sales tool.
Here's what good questions will do for you.
1. Good questions direct your customer's thinking. When
2. A good question is your best means of collecting the information that will help you construct a sale. How do you know what a customer thinks, or what his/her situation is, unless you ask a question? If you're selling a new surgical glove, for example, you first ask questions to learn the surgeon's concerns so that you are able to point out the specific features of the glove that meet those needs. Without first asking questions, you're reduced to working on assumptions about the needs and interests of your customers. You will do far better at selling your products and services if you first use good questions to understand your customer's needs and interests. Good questions help you to see into the mind and heart of your customers, and equip you with the knowledge necessary to make the sale.
3. Good questions build relationships. The act of asking good questions shows that you care about the person and his/her problems. The more questions you ask about your customer, the more he/she feels your interest. The law of reciprocity indicates that the more interest you show in a customer, the more likely that customer will be interested in you. Did you ever attend a reception and meet someone who was very interested in you? Asked you question after question about yourself? When you moved on, you thought to yourself, "What a great person." Why did you think that? Because of what he/she said? Probably not. You thought the person was wonderful because he/she expressed interest in you! And you formed that impression because of the questions they asked of you. You can make use of this principle by asking good personal questions of your customers and thereby building strong relationships.