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How to avoid the same lame sales questions

Are you guilty of spouting useless babble when pitching a prospect?


Contrary to popular belief, there is such a thing as a stupid question, and salespeople ask them every day. Salespeople are notorious for allowing stupid, lame and lazy questions to leave their lips.

Stupid questions anger and waste your prospects' time. Lame questions close doors and opportunities. Lazy questions destroy your trust and credibility. Continuing to spout the same-o-lame-o questions is a recipe for disaster.

Here are examples of some lame and lazy questions:

  • What is your budget?
  • How soon are you looking to make a decision?
  • What will it take to earn your business?
  • Is price the only thing holding you back?
  • Are you the decision maker?
  • You do like to save money, right?
  • Quality is important to you, right?
  • If I could show you a way to X would you be interested?
  • What keeps you up at night?

And so much more.  Don’t go to another meeting until you wash out your mouth. Never again let these questions leave your lips. 

Smart salespeople ask smart questions. Better questions help differentiate you from the competition. Smart questions problems. Better questions enhance your business and bottom line. Smart questions are powerful and should be used as a surgical instrument on your sales call.

Asking strategic questions earn you the right to probe further and gain a complete understanding of your customer’s needs.  Once you have earned that right, you can escalate the impact of your questions to increase your value. How you phrase, position and line up your questions have a major impact on your customer’s responsiveness.

Asking questions is a skill that is practiced and mastered. Doctors, detectives, police, interrogators and members of the military study this skill.  They know that the right questions at the right time get them the answers they need.

To be successful at selling, you must systematically approach your clients with a repertoire of smart and impactful questions that your competitors are not asking.  Questions that show prospective clients that you clearly understand their business challenges, struggles, and goals.

So, what makes a great question?

  • Ask a question that makes customers think objectively.
  • Ask a question that shows you have the valuable insight on your client’s situation.
  • Use a question to challenge current thinking.
  • Ask a question that will identify gaps your prospects cannot see.
  • Make an inquiry that demonstrates your expertise and moves the sale forward.
  • Ask questions that challenge the status quo.

I work with many companies that tell their people “what to say” instead of teaching them “what to ask.” The power is in the asking, not in the telling. Prospects naturally gravitate towards people asking the right questions.

If your questions are not yielding the results you desire, don’t go on another sales call without getting help!

Selling is about asking the right questions at the right time. Questions can be used to pique the customer’s interest and establish credibility.  Questions identify greater needs and uncover more accurate information from potential customers.

The next time, you are tempted to let a lame question, leave your lips, stop and find questions that will deliver more impact and hit the target.

The right questions at the right time create the right opportunities. Your income will be directly influenced by the quality of questions you ask.

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Liz Wendling

Liz Wendling is a nationally recognized business consultant, sales strategist and emotional intelligence coach. Straightforward, practical and sassy, Liz’s innate gift is helping professionals transform their sales approach and evolve their sales strategies. Liz shows people how to discover their sales comfort zone and master the skill that pays you and your business forever.

Liz believes people need to stop following the masses and start standing out and differentiating themselves. Her super powers are designing customized solutions that deliver outstanding results. She enjoys working with professionals who are committed to kicking up the dust, rattling some chains and rocking the foundation of their business.

Go to: www.lizwendling.com or email Liz@lizwendling.com

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