There’s an adage in selling that says, “People are interested in people who are interested in them”. And so it is with prospects; it’s a basic of selling.
Many salespeople seem to forget this though and spend the first period of a sales conversation with a prospect talking about themselves, their company and their product/service. In some cases they mistakenly believe that is what salespeople should do; in others it is because they don’t feel it is right to ask for someone’s time and then to go and ask questions. The truth is that only poor salespeople go and do all of the talking, whereas by asking questions of the prospect they would be engaging in that basic of selling, as questions show that we’re interested.
Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t a case of just asking any old question, as that could be deemed a waste of a prospect’s time. Rather it’s a case of doing some research, learning something about our prospect, identifying how we believe our product/ service can benefit them and then verifying what we think is true whilst helping the prospect come to the same conclusion.
We need to say enough to show we’ve prepared for the meeting, that there is a purpose and that their time is being well spent with us. We need to ask questions to get the prospect to talk, share information and verify that they have a need (whether they had realised it or not before we arrived to speak with them) and that they feel our product/service would fulfill that need.
Rather than the common misconception of salespeople having the ‘gift of the gab’ (doing all of the talking), it is a case of using our (2) ears and (1) mouth in proportion with us facilitating the conversation with questions and the prospect doing most of the talking as we listen to them.
The best salespeople select their prospects on the basis they believe the prospects will be better off with their products/services. They do their research, identify the applicable benefits they can bring and structure questions to help the prospect determine the value of buying from them. They let the prospects do the talking and as such, their prospects enjoy the process and are interested in doing business.
I wish you every success!