Like the layers of an onion, your prospects and customers build their exposure and opinion of you one contact at a time. Every communication with you builds your relationship, layer by layer. You must be consistent, provide value, accessible, and inclusive and/or engaging. In Part 1 we explored Sales Tool Kit, Step 1. Now in Part 2 we’ll finish up the Tool Kit.
2) Uncover the need, problem or pain that your prospect is experiencing. (Sales funnel stage: Awareness)
This is where your ability to ask questions and listening skills are clearly an asset. The way that you ask questions is really important. The person that you are speaking with must have the feeling that you are really interested in THEM as an individual, and that you understand THEIR situation. After you ask your question/s, give them enough time to answer, don’t cut them off. Really listen to what they are saying. Don’t guess at how they are going to end their sentence or assume that you know what’s coming next. You are trying to get to the core issue from their point of view.
What kinds of questions should you ask? For starters, there is a difference between an Open Question and a Closed Question. Open Questions ask your prospect to talk about their experience and views, whereas Closed Questions are yes/no questions. Using Open Questions to uncover the need, pain or problem can provide you with much needed information. Ask questions that:
- Help to identify the current condition of the prospect/client’s situation
- Provide direction and information about what their desired condition is
- Determine the challenges the prospect /client is having in reaching their desired condition
While you are uncovering the need, pain or problem, keep the questions conversational. None of us likes it when we feel like we are being interrogated – that just puts us in the “this is an aggressive sales person” frame of mind and defensive rather than open to ongoing communication.