Questions are so incredibly important. Without finding out the problem, opportunity, want or need first, presenting solutions, products or services is premature, and can easily be dismissed as too expensive, not needed or just annoying. No one likes their time wasted – today more than ever.
Asking the best questions is very important. Here are some of the common mistakes sales professionals make when it comes to asking questions.
- Not asking enough. You’re not a mind reader!
- Asking the wrong questions – ones that aren’t relevant to the situation or understood by the prospect.
- Asking too many questions, which makes you an interrogator.
The better you are at asking questions, the better response you’ll get. The good news is that asking better questions and asking the right questions at the right time to the right people is a skill that can be developed.
Here are some examples of best practices when it comes to asking questions:
First, identify what you need to know and what the person needs to discover first. It’s about doing your homework before your questions.
Second, put together questions that will get the right information verbalized. That’s where the “3 I” approach of asking questions comes in. Show intent, intelligence and be interesting to the person or group you’re speaking with.
Intent tells the other person why it would be helpful to cover the information in the questions you have for them. They need to understand your intentions, which makes them feel safe and opens up the dialogue. You won’t get very far if your questions don’t make sense to the prospect.
The questions we ask are very telling about who we are. If you raise your game and ask good questions you’ll be seen as more intelligent. Making the questions interesting and relevant to the person and the situation makes the conversation more productive. Center on what’s in it for them. Questions need to make sense about why they should take the time and energy to answer them.
You can use these tactics right away to help you ask better questions. But remember, asking better questions is only helpful if you truly listen and respond to the answers you receive.
How do you ensure you’re asking the best questions? Let us know in the Comments section.
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