Did you know that there are better questions to ask? How would you know that there are better questions to ask when you're in the sales cycle? Is there a better question to ask? Are you sure there are better questions to ask?
I just put you through a terrible little sales cycle.
The questions I was asking were closed-ended questions. They simply gave me a yes or no answer. Even the ones where I kind of made it sound like it was open-ended with the “how would you”. Sometimes those closed-ended questions will actually pose as open-ended questions, but don't get them mistaken. Just because they have an appearance, doesn't make them true.
The better questions you want to ask in your client's sales cycle are open-ended questions.
The ones that start with: Who. What. Where. Why. When.
Think of this like eighth-grade journalism class when we actually had to answer all those little questions to write a story. While we're sitting with a client, it's better to ask these more powerful questions that will give us an answer beyond “Yes” or “No”.
What is important to you?
How will you know you've achieved that?
When would you like to see results?
Who will be making this decision with you?
Where do you want to be in the next 6 months?
Take some time before your next client meeting and ask yourself, what do I want to accomplish out of the meeting? What are the questions I need to ask to help me get there?
Because if you don't ask, the answer is “No”. And if you're already sitting with No as an answer because you haven't asked the questions, how are you ever going to move a sales cycle forward?
If a client is not going to give you an answer, no answer is the same as a “No” answer. You want to ask more powerful questions, that way the client understands what we can achieve together and they can see the value from answering your questions.
Challenge yourself before your next meeting to ask questions from those five open-ended areas. Ask yourself, what are some great questions that start with Who, What, Where, When, and Why?
Go ahead. Plan your meeting out, and when you're in there, open up that binder. Let them see those questions. It is not going to make you look amateur. It is going to make you look prepared, and hands down, I will take a prepared sales person, business owner, entrepreneur, to sit down with me any day of the week rather than someone who is winging it.
“Winging it” is deadly. Don't do it. Prepare questions you want to ask and always remember to ask yourself: Is that the most powerful way I can ask that? How can I improve this question? How can I make it better? How can I engage more emotion in this conversation?
Ask more powerful questions. Get more powerful results.