Among the many reasons I’ve discovered for not asking enough questions, is that people are afraid of looking stupid when asking questions. They figure that what the prospect just said is probably something they should know so they ignore it or try to bluff their way through it. The result of this approach is to fail to cover something that’s really important to your potential customer, try to fake it when making your presentation about how your products and services will take care of that issue – which you mention but didn’t really understand so your solution looks dumb, or you propose a fix to something that was really a surface issue and not important.
When you operate from a heart-centered, soft sell sales and marketing viewpoint, it should make sense that you want to come across sincere and trustworthy. You do this largely by taking time to ask the questions for understanding. People forgive a lot of mistakes if they feel you really care about helping them. This presupposes, of course, that you actually have the in-depth product knowledge necessary to recognize the solution needed once you understand their concerns.
1st – Ask when you don’t know
2nd – Realize that some prospects too want to avoid looking stupid so they will use jargon in your industry to give the impression you can’t fool them because they’re in the know.
3rd – Avoid using jargon to sound like you’re in the group if you don’t fully understand the jargon – some terms mean different things in different groups
4th – Do research on the industry before the meeting so you understand the main terms they use and their interests.
Helping prospects and customers come to know, like and trust you is an ongoing process. Great salespeople realize when working with people, there is always more to learn. Nevertheless, the above points to put yourself in the right frame of mind and the other four points will help you to avoid looking stupid when asking questions. These tips will also make it easier for you to make a connection that leads to trust and long term relationships. Then you will find selling is fun, fulfilling and mutually rewarding.
To get value out of this article, find three to five terms or expressions used in an industry you want to break into and get their definitions. Write a sentence for each then ask someone in that industry if you used the terms right.
My first Kindle eBook, How Relationship Selling Rewards Small Businesses, went live on April 24, 2012. https://amzn.to/2BaP2AH I've lived a lifetime of service and spiritual search so it's natural for me to incorporate these attitudes into my work. I believe that selling and marketing are spiritual service when done with a heart-centered, relationship selling approach. All of business success comes down to building strong relationships.
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