Have you ever taken a few moments and thought about the phone conversations you are making daily? Honestly going through each second of your time on the phone can yield some astounding results. I am not suggesting a simple "role-play" exercise with a co-worker; I am talking about really experiencing the call as your prospects do.
As you are talking to your prospects there are times when you are asking them questions that may cause them to head for the hills rather than race to you. Far too often many sales professionals and business owners that they think are helpful; however, they are just ruining any emotional equity that you have developed.
Consider the following example from the real estate industry. In real estate many agents call on listings that have "expired" (listed with an agent and did not result in a sale) as these sellers are ready for a change! However, many agents ask the following question:
"What do you think went wrong last time?"
This question is certainly going to get you an earful! The most obvious answer to the above question would be "My home didn't sell!" Questions like this are a sure-fire way to ruin any rapport and leave you hearing the dial tone. Instead of asking a question that will leave you and your prospect frustrated, consider the following guidelines when creating your questions.
What is 1 small step they can take? - Asking questions that lead to a small action will get you closer to a sale. For someone in Insurance this could be asking to meet with the client to understand their needs, instead of asking for them to commit to a policy on the phone. Your small step could be asking if they want a report, or a video to discover more on their terms, just come up with a question that allows them to reach closer to you. Are you asking an interest piquing question? - Asking ONLY "yes/no" questions aren't that interesting and certainly won't land you the sale. Interest piquing questions will compel your prospect to reach to you for more help. For example in the business to business phone sales world, a rep might ask "Do you know how you could save 15%, sometimes more, monthly without moving from your desk?". Do your questions dig to the root of the problem? - Far too often questions don't reach deep enough to what the real challenge could be. Many business owners and consumers will say "I can't afford what you are offering" as a response; however, that often means they don't see the value in what you are offering. Dig deep with your questions to uncover the challenges and watch your sales grow.
When you ask questions that invite your customers to take small actions, are interest piquing, and dig deep to the real challenges your conversion rates will sky rocket.
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Todd Bates is a national Marketing and Business coach. Through his programs, such as Todd Bates Systems, he shares innovative systems to help businesses owners and sales professionals dramatically grow their sales.
His systems cover a broad base from sales conversion to marketing on a budget. The strategies that he shares have enabled him to net over 1 million dollars a year since the age of 24.