By Ryan Taft
My wife Melissa and I were out and about looking at new homes. After looking at a few, I asked Melissa what she thought of her interactions with the sales people.
She said, “They are nice enough, but none of them let me talk.”
It was the “let me” that caught my attention.
I asked her to elaborate: “Well, the questions they asked didn’t really allow me to share much detail.”
For anyone who knows my wife, you know that she wants to talk about details!
I thought back to some questions we heard. Here are a few that come to mind. As you read them, ask yourself if these are good or bad questions and – more importantly – why?
“Do you like this kitchen?”
“What is your timeframe?”
“How many bedrooms are you looking for?”
“Will you fill out a guest card?”
“Nice home, wouldn’t you agree?”
“How long have you been looking?”
“Is this your first visit?”
“What is your price range?”
To Melissa, these questions all lean toward the bad category. Why? Because they require only one or two-word answers.
Melissa actually wanted to share more about what we are looking for and, more importantly, why we are looking for certain things.
But poor questions create poor answers, so Melissa was never allowed to go very deep with any sales people.
While this example deals with selling and buying a new home, the principle applies in almost any sales scenario.
I encourage you to take a long look at the questions you ask throughout the sales process and analyze whether you are giving your prospect a chance to talk enough.
If not, consider asking open-ended questions which allow your prospect to share more detail. For example:
“What inspired you to look for a new _____________ in the first place?”
“Tell me about some challenges you have with your current ____________.”
“Tell me how this ______________ compares to your current ____________.”
“How do you see yourself enjoying your new ______________? ”
“If this was your ____________, what would you do with it first?”
And of course, the very best thing you can say to encourage your prospect to share more is,“Tell me more about that.”
A lot of sales people miss this vital step in their sales process.
Of course your goal is to close to sale. And using open-ended questions provides you a much more powerful way to reach that goal.
Allow your prospect to share more during the sales process and you will be much better equipped to actually close the sale.
Change someone’s world by giving all the Melissas out there a chance to talk!