It’s terribly important that you write down your prospect’s responses to the powerful questions you pose. Don’t assume you know what your prospect is going to say; instead, take notes as to how he says it. (Remember never assume—it makes an ASS out of U and ME.)
I am often asked if it would be simpler to just suggest to prospects that if, for example, they are not current on new building materials, they’re losing business. Or if they’re spending too much on their information technology departments, or on taxes, or on selling expenses, they’re hurting their profits.
Why not just say that or ask about it explicitly by saying, “Isn’t that hurting your profits?”
Here’s why that’s not the way to do it: You may be honest and above board, but if you’re in sales, people believe you’ll say anything at all in order to get them to buy.
There is much more power in having the prospect tell you how the Pain hurts him or her. What you say is seen as being tainted because people are jaded about salespeople. No matter how honest you are, if you’re in sales, many people believe you’ll lie, cheat, and steal in order to get them to buy.
So what comes out of salespeople’s mouths is often seen as manipulative or worse. The good news is this: whatever comes out of the prospect’s mouth is true for them! They believe what they say—so our challenge is to get them to say the things we could just as easily suggest to them. Because if we suggested it, they’d be likely to disagree with us and perhaps even feel manipulated!
Let me put it this way: questions are the most powerful form of verbal behavior you can engage in when selling, and the two types of questions identified above are the most powerful types of questions you can ask. So ask them!