Ask investigative questions to close the sale

December 1, 2010

When was the last time you asked a question during a sales call? Do you sometimes find yourself doing the majority of the talking, without taking the time to figure out what the prospect really wants or needs?

Prospects turn to salespeople because they are the experts on the product they’re selling. They want the salesperson to either convince them that they need the product, or if they need to move on. However, salespeople should be asking a lot of questions, too.

When you’re pushing your product on someone, you’ll frequently get one of the following responses:

“The price is too high.”

“I need more information.”

“I need to think about it.”

“We have no budget.”

“This is a bad time.”

It may be your gut reaction to come back at the prospect with a statement about the product or service. Don’t. It makes you sound defensive. Instead, respond with an investigative question. It shows the prospect that you’re genuinely interested in helping them and that your product or service is a great fit. Also, it helps get to the real reason why the person is hesitant.

For example, a prospect may say, “We don’t have the budget for this.”

An appropriate response would be:

“Ms. Prospect, I understand completely. Let me ask you this: Is it only budgetary concerns your company is worried about? Or are you more concerned about the value your company will receive?”

Using hypothetical questions and scenarios will help open doors, and “if” questions are keys that unlock those doors.

This post is brought to you by the good folks at Dale Carnegie Training of Central & Southern New Jersey. We would love to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter @CarnegieJersey.

Photo credit: tj scenes

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One Response to Ask investigative questions to close the sale

  1. […] recently talked about how to overcome a prospect’s “buying objections” during a sales situation. It is critical for salespeople to know how to respond to these types of […]

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