Questioning Your Way to Sales Success
Continuing on our theme of helping companies thrive in 2023, this month we look at the power of asking the right questions to help you win more business.
Over the course of 20+ years we have helped our clients secure billions of pounds of business. One of the most powerful tools in the toolkit is practising curiosity and learning how to ask questions that will help you close deals.
Even the most formal of pitches has a Q&A; and in early stage client chemistry meetings there must be more Q than A.
Why ask questions?
You may wonder why it’s important to ask questions during the business development meeting. You have your pitch, you know what you want to say. Surely asking questions will derail your flow? Think again, it’s not about you.
There are several reasons asking the right questions will steer your meeting to a more favourable outcome.
Asking questions during a client meeting builds chemistry, can help you get a better understanding of what your potential client is really like, what makes them tick and what’s important to them.
Listen to their interests and be genuinely interested builds rapport.
making them think
Questions that uncover prospects’ pain points and challenges demonstrate you've done your homework and show you understand their world.
Asking smart questions will make your client pause and think and the right questions are a powerful a way of showing your knowledge at this stage.
knowledge is power
It's important not to jump the gun and start pitching your services too early. This can be off-putting and make you come across as pushy. Be patient and take the time to really listen to what your prospect is saying for a bit longer. This is why “The Deck” is destructive in chemistry meetings.
Understand what they need before you try to cover off the how; you might even make it their idea.
“Can we..?”, “How about….?”. These types of questions, coupled with well thought out suggestions, are ones that you use to try and secure the deal, or at least get you one step closer to the desired outcome.
And if you’ve built rapport successfully, your prospect will be using as many “what if’s?” as you will.
You must close
But what about those tough, uncomfortable questions that you may be hesitant to ask? It's important to remember that these ballsy questions can be the key to securing the work.
Whether it's asking about their budget or making a direct request for the work, don't be afraid to ask the unaskable. To do this you need to have thought about your range of likely outcomes beforehand and how you will frame the killer lines.