Why Asking Questions Is So Important During Sales
By Mark Halwani
om Hopkins, the sales legend, says, "If you're telling, you're not selling!" An effective salesperson knows better than to do most of the talking, especially during the initial meeting. Asking questions is the perfect opportunity to naturally get your prospects talking. Involving them in this way is effective when you want to influence them psychologically; remember that majority of the purchases that people make are based on emotion rather than logic.
Asking questions strengthens the rapport between you and your prospects. Asking your prospects to describe some of the challenges that they are going through will go a long way in making them feel like you care. Engaging questions allow you to focus on your prospects and their problems. Listening to your prospects demonstrates that you genuinely care for them, which enhances their level of trust in you and ultimately increases your chances of closing the deal.
Learning prospects' needs
Once you have built rapport at the initial part of the meeting, open-ended questions should help you learn as much as you can about some of the challenges your prospect is facing. This enables you to present the product or service as the solution he or she needs. Assuming that you understand your prospects without giving them the opportunity to describe their problems may cause you to lose credibility, which in turn compromises the sale.
In addition to discovering what your prospects' challenges are, you should also aim to understand how they perceive their problems. Different people will perceive the same problem in different ways. This therefore means that when presenting a solution to an individual, you should present it in a manner that the person will understand; you cannot present the solution in the same manner to all your prospects because their reactions will differ.
Dealing with resistance
While it is important to provide sufficient information about what you are selling, there are cases in which prospects will resist making a purchase. In such a case, asking questions allows you to make them understand the consequences of their choices. Asking your prospect what would happen if he or she does not buy your product encourages him or her to reconsider making a purchase without feeling pushed. Remember that pushing prospects by trying to convince them that your product is right for them only triggers more resistance. Asking questions gives you a better chance of getting them to change their minds; they draw their own conclusions about the negative consequences of turning down your product.
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