Monday, August 16, 2010

The Best Salespeople Ask Excellent Questions

The only way to determine if your contact is a good fit for your products/services is to begin asking questions understand their goals and other vital information. You are doing them, your company, and yourself in injustice if you do not get a complete understanding of their needs. The person must feel a bit of comfort with you before you can begin asking those key questions. If you are too aggressive (or not aggressive enough, depending on the contact's personality), you may have your conversation cut short before you get any information on the client's Value Opportunities. If done properly, you will get an explosion of information, and they'll do most of the talking.

Two Types Of Questions
Surface-level questions are used early in the conversation to determine if the contact could be a good fit for your products/services:
* Does your product/service match what they do? (You can't sell a jitney to a doctor.)
* Can they afford what you're selling? (Good luck selling enterprise-level software to a mom-and-pop operation.)
* Is the contact part of the decision making process?

In-depth questions are asked after you determine the client could be a fit for your products/services. Because that list of questions is almost endless, we'll just list the category headers here:
* Identify and fully understand their Value Opportunities and business processes
* Identify and present the specific value that will build acceptance from them
* Better understand and respond to their objection
* Better understand and respond to skepticism if necessary

If you're hit with a smokescreen, stall, or objection early in your conversation, that should be your cue to begin asking questions. Then you can understand, isolate, and eliminate the objection to continue the conversation or to acknowledge it, put them at ease, and keep going.

Here's the mindset you should have: Ask questions as though you have $50,000 to invest with them and you need to determine who you will invest in.

The Erie Sales Club is a joint effort of three leading local businesses: Jameson Publishing, Marsha Marsh Real Estate Services, and VertMarkets.


  1. Why are there no bylines with your articles? Who is writing these? Why is it a secret? I have never seen anonymous authors before.

  2. Good question. Most of the articles have been edited by Jameson Publishing staff members. A team of sales managers, reps, and trainers wrote the originals, so it's really not one person and to put someone's byline on it would be misleading. If you have a suggestion for how you think we should handle that, please let me know.

    When you see an article on here, it will always be written/edited the Erie Sales Club sponsors -- Jameson Publishing, Marsh Real Estate, and VertMarkets. Thanks again for the feedback.