One B2B sales training technique we’ve brought to our clients in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary and Toronto centers on asking two unique questions of decision makers. Most Salespeople wouldn’t think to ask them because their purpose is not obvious yet asking them could mean the difference between making or breaking a B2B sale.
The Six Levels of Questioning
When conducting a detailed Customer Needs Analysis (CNA), experienced Salespeople will go further than asking the basic Discovery Questions. While we all need to know the who, what, when, where, why and how of our client’s world, we know that asking Pain/Reward Questions will eventually lead to an area of opportunity.
Unfortunately, most Salespeople will stop here hoping that the decision maker will lead themselves to choosing their product or service. If you missed it previously on our blog, please click the following links to read more about the four remaining levels of questioning – Paraphrase, Significance, Realization and Action Questions.
Know that your ability to ask these deeper levels of questioning will upset the complacency of buyers. When your decision maker realizes that accepting the status quo is no longer acceptable, he or she may close themselves. You need to be the catalyst to make that happen.
Deep Questioning Creates Trust
Your buyer will appreciate your sincerity in trying to address and resolve the issues – if you have the emotional intelligence to proceed carefully. Don’t move too fast through the questions and focus on your client’s world with empathy. The sale you want to make will only occur with no agenda to make it happen. It’s almost as if you are a mirror of the client’s world, paraphrasing what you hear them saying and feeling. Your ability to ask great questions will build up a sense of rapport, confidence and trust. To your client, you certainly don’t seem like most Salespeople jumping on opportunities to product sell but rather someone who is trying to help them.
The First Question
You have invested a considerable amount of time and effort in establishing a relationship with your buyer. At the end of your Customer Needs Analysis, ask this question…
“Thanks for sharing this information with me. Is there anything else you think I should know about?”
Here are some of the answers I’ve received in my sales career with that question.
“I should let you know that our budget has expanded as we are bringing a new product online.”
“We have a new Purchasing Manager. She plans to institute a new evaluation procedure.”
“We are being purchased by another company. I’m not sure how that will change things.”
“I’m actually going to be on vacation for the next two weeks, so it would be best to call me next month.”
Suddenly, you’re getting vital new information. Your ability to develop a trusted relationship has caused your buyer to be sincere with you in areas that you simply can’t ask questions about. These high trust answers can totally change your sales direction and outcome.
The Second Question
When having the next appointment with your buyer, ask this question…
“Has anything changed since we last met?”
This may provide you with new information and insight into other key areas of new development. I still recall one buyer saying to me that she had given notice and was training her replacement already on staff. She was happy to make the introduction keeping the buying relationship intact. I also managed to follow her to her next opportunity and gain that company as a new customer months later.
Sales success rests in the questions you ask and the relationship you develop. Do you have any others that are your favorites? I’d love to hear them. If you liked this post, please share it on your favorite social media platform. When subscribing to our blog we suggest you use a personal email address or add firstname.lastname@example.org to your email contact list.
Asking Great Questions is the First of Five Success Skills covered in our new online sales training program – The Sales Skills Incubator. Click the link for the free trial and start making more sales today.
Dave Warawa – PROSALESGUY