Three Things To Improve?
I had a great time chairing the Enterprise Marketing 2.0 Conference last week in Amsterdam, organized by KGS. Many of the speakers I introduced over the two days were leaders in social media and inbound marketing, so I learned a lot of relevant stuff!
When the conference was over, I was asked to present at a Meetup.com event, Influence Ecosystems, where I could discuss some of my own mojo.
So I highlighted my upcoming book, Sales Pitches That Snap, Crackle ‘n Pop, because I firmly believe that as valuable as online marketing is, ultimately you have to get in front of prospects, physically, that is, if you’re going to sell anything of significant value.
It led to an open, group conversation about face-to-face selling. The topic of the killer question came up; that is: What are the best questions that a salesperson should ask a qualified buyer?
The answer is, it depends. It depends where you are in the sales process or, better yet, where the buyer is in her buying process.
One question I particularly like is, “What three things would you like to improve here?”
Of course, any such question should be within the scope of your product or services, as well as within the context of the conversation.
Asking for three things is effective because it’s not too exhaustive, on the one hand. On the other hand, the answers could provide you a range of issues, allowing you to align at least one of them with your offerings.
Another benefit is that you might prompt the prospect to think in new areas and, consciously or unconsciously, she will feel that having you around is a benefit, that you are a resource.
Such questions also position you as the go-to partner instead of just another vendor. They earn you the subliminal title of trusted advisor.
Prepare questions like this as you prepare for meetings with prospects. Then use them as and when they fit into your customer-focused conversations.