That’s Not Selling
“The power is in the question”, states a wise Japanese expression. As salespeople this phrase holds deep implication for us.
So what is it that falls from your mouth?
Are your questions strategic, powerful and designed to lead your prospect to making clear-cut decisions? Are you asking for explicit honest decisions and not just exclusively asking questions designed to move your prospect towards a “Yes”. Do your questions demand a response from your prospects and leave no doubt in their mind you want their business?
A basic premise for sales people is that we should never ask a question unless we already know the answer. Essentially this means we should always plan our questions prior to any sales call, but to also plan for, and anticipate the answers that may be offered up. The truth is peoples ‘answering options’ are limited, the challenge for most of us though is we often feel asking a ‘sales-type’ question is manipulative and controlling, or a least that’s the excuse we tell ourselves.
Our experience tells us this problem is more often than not caused by fear, because asking questions designed to get your prospect to make a decision of consequence opens the door for the prospect to say “No”. And that’s the last word we want to hear isn’t it? In this type of situation we avoid asking a closing question entirely and leave the meeting having ascertained a “Maybe”, sighing inwardly to ourselves “at least he didn’t say No”.
I shared recently current research shows 4 out 6 sales people don’t even ask a closing question when they are in a presentation situation. Four out of six salespeople.
That’s not selling; that’s sitting.
As salespeople we need to get our heads around the fact some prospects are going to say “No” to what we are offering more often than they are going say “Yes”. It’s simply not possible to get a “Yes” from every prospect we sit in front of. It’s unreasonable and delusional to think so.
The next time you’re in front of a prospect put your game-face on and ask a question of consequence. If the response you receive is “No”, your prospect has disqualified themselves from the sale. It’s not that you have done anything wrong it is simply that your solution is not the right fit right now. Respectfully bow out of the meeting and go find someone who does qualify.
Be prepared to ask powerful questions and be prepared for the consequences, and remember that the consequences of some questions will be great success.
Sell without regret.
Michael Tate: Sales Director International – NRS Media
A foundation employee during its initial five year start-up phase Michael Tate has returned to NRS Media after 15 years of working internationally to take up tenure as the company’s Sales Director in its International office.
Michael has a vast knowledge of effective media use, advertising and advertising sales management built over the last 25 years working with some of the world’s largest TV and radio groups. Based in San Francisco for over 10 years, he also worked ‘client-side’ in a National Media appointment for the Toyota Motor Corporation in Australia; coordinating all the media buying decisions for the auto giant helping Toyota become the No.1 seller of motor vehicles.
Over the last decade Michael has advised all types of companies around the world on best effect advertising via over 3500 workshops attended by over 45,000 business owners and managers, generating over $60,000,000 in direct sales advertising revenue.
He is a highly sought after key-note speaker and advertising sales trainer at major industry bodies like the Radio Advertising Bureau, the Texas Broadcasters Association, and the Oregon Association of Broadcasters. Tate has successfully worked with advertising sales managers, their staff and clients in 12 countries including the USA, UK, Canada, Ireland, Norway, Malaysia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Philippines and Australia.
Michael Tate has joined the team of Radio Today with weekly insights