Selling is different.
One of the first things lawyers learn is to never ask a question during a trial to which they do not know the answer. Well, it's the opposite for a salesperson.
Salespeople must be comfortable asking questions we don't know the answer to. Why?
- Successful salespeople understand they cannot rely on assumptions. They ask questions to validate what they think is accurate and often learn that the information they depend on is incorrect.
- Inaccurate information may lead you down the wrong path, increase the length of the sales process and possibly keep you from reaching decision-makers.
- When you ask questions you don't know the answers to, you uncover what the prospect or customer values and can then sell benefits, that customers buy.
- Salespeople feel like asking a question they don't know the answer to may make them appear unprepared. If you don't know what a prospect exactly means, ask! What was right yesterday may be wrong today. Please prepare for your conversations with prospects and customers, but remember, you are not a mind reader, and information can become outdated quickly.
- You might uncover an additional need that you were unaware of where you could be helpful to the prospect.
- Asking questions shows curiosity, translating into an interest in your prospect or customer.
- You gain information! Information is power when selling and negotiating.
- Asking questions helps you maintain relationships.
- Successful salespeople understand the best way to respond to an objection is to ask questions because we don't know what our prospects and customers think. Why do you feel that way? What are your concerns? Tell me more about it. I don't understand.
- Don't be fooled; there is no way to know what is of value to a prospect or customer if you do not ask.
Becoming comfortable asking questions to which you don't know the answer is one of the best things you can do to succeed in sales. When you hear something you don't understand, ask about it. The more you do this, the more natural it becomes. Your prospects will thank you by becoming customers.