3xy = success

3xy = success
May 20, 2024

What in the world does 3xy mean? Keep reading, and we will explain it. Sales Concepts was founded in 1980, and since then, we have been helping people who work with customers, the majority of whom have been salespeople, be as successful as possible. One of the most significant weaknesses we have found many salespeople to have is that they don’t ask enough of the right kinds of questions.

Salespeople often ask a good question but don’t follow it up with a better one, making it difficult for customers to share their stories. We discover opportunities when customers share their stories. Every customer has a story. Our questions must flow well and encourage customers to fully explain their needs, wants, concerns, and requirements. However, as salespeople, we often ask non-related questions, interrupting this process, and information becomes disjointed.

Think of it like trying to chop down a tree with an ax but never striking the same place twice. What would happen if you swung low first, then high the next time, and somewhere else the third time? Nothing! You would make no progress towards chopping down the tree. All you would do is scuff it up everywhere with little gashes. Which is how many salespeople go about asking questions.

During one of our workshops this past week, one of our customers put it very well. Whenever you ask a customer about something, ask three follow-up questions with “why” in the question. Hence the mnemonic device, 3xy = success. Ask “why-oriented” questions three times to follow up on key points to be successful. This way, you ask follow-up questions, enabling customers to tell their stories. Thank you, AP! You know who you are!

However, we do have to reword the questions so they don’t become monotonous. We have to watch our tone because “why” questions can sound condescending when not asked correctly. However, the point remains that we can not just accept answers from customers without understanding the “why” behind the answer. So, as you develop questions to ask customers, make sure you also have follow-up questions to help unravel the mystery of your customers’ full stories.

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