It used to be that salespeople were trained to walk into anybody’s office or home and give a presentation about why the prospect should choose their product. It didn’t matter if the customer actually needed the product, just that they bought the product. After decades of high-pressure sales tactics with less-than-desirable results, somebody came up with the idea of using questions to determine if the prospect actually needed the product. Sales processes based around asking questions were soon implemented. Brilliant!
Well, not so brilliant… for two reasons:
- Prospects are asked the same questions by everybody that walks into their office. Questions like “what keeps you up at night?” or “who are you currently using for this service?” have been asked literally millions of times in the past twenty years.
- Because salespeople walk in with a list of 15 questions to ask, the prospect feels like they’re being interrogated. There are many salespeople who just spit out the questions in a predetermined order and move to the next question. They either don’t listen to the answer or they don’t integrate the answer into their other questions.
After the salesperson asks their questions, guess what they do? They launch into a presentation about why the prospect should by their product. They use the same presentation that was used forty years ago… except now there’s Powerpoint!
One Moore Thing: Have 3-5 unique questions ready for your prospect, then sit down with them and have an actual conversation. You’ll be surprised at the results.