Set your Objective before you begin a sales conversation, then let the prospect have her head if she’s talking—and if she’s not, ask some questions to get her to speak. When it’s clear that she has some Pain, and you’ve had some time to discuss how bad that Pain hurts her, and, later, what you have to offer that can alleviate that Pain, you can close—that is, ask her to buy (or ask her to set a next step with you).
You’re not in control then either—she may or may not even answer your question—but if she doesn’t, move on. If you know she has Pain and you’re confident that what you have to offer can eliminate or lessen that Pain, the best thing to do is to give her the opportunity to alleviate it with your offering (and you should express it in those terms).
Say: “Mary Lou, it seems as if you’re suffering with recruiting issues pretty badly. Shall we go ahead and work together so I can identify a pool of qualified candidates for you, and you can free up your time to deal with those other aspects of HR that you said are being neglected?
Or: “Joe, I know that real estate situation is bothering you. Is it time for me to work on that a bit, so we could see what options you have?”
Or: “I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been unable to steer the company’s sales in the way you’d like them to go, Fred. Can I put together a program that will help you get there?”
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