“Remember, in the quest to become at ease with asking, you will sometimes get it wrong. And that’s okay because no one learns without making mistakes.” – Meshell Baker in today’s Tip 1632
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Scott Ingram: You’re listening to the Daily Sales Tips podcast and I’m your host, Scott Ingram. Today’s tip comes from Meshell Baker, our favorite sales confidence igniter and authentic selling crusader. Here she is:
Meshell Baker: Hello. Today we’re going to talk about Questions, Quandaries, and Queries… How to Ask. Have you ever noticed the ease at which a top-performing seller or sales leader asks questions?
Why is this important?
Well, a clear indication of insecurity, uncertainty, and lack of confidence is the inability to ask great questions. You see, asking great questions is a craft that takes time and repeated practice to master.
Now, remember, in the quest to become at ease with asking, you will sometimes get it wrong. And that’s okay because no one learns without making mistakes.
Here are some insightful tips that will help you push past the fear of getting it wrong and focus on converting more conversations to clients.
One, be a good listener. When someone gives you an answer or explains something to you, pay attention. If you don’t listen properly, you’ll find yourself asking an already-answered question, which will lead the prospect to feel uncomfortable.
Two, don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you’re confused about something, you have to ask for clarity, and it is better to be honest to say, I don’t think I understood what you’re saying, or What I think I hear you saying is a restatement and allow them to clarify.
Number three, do your research if at all possible, know as much as you can about the prospect that you’re speaking to, and have crafted questions that are meaningful and ready to go that will help you lead the conversation and engage in a powerful conversation.
Number four, go where the conversation takes you. Too often people are so focused on an outcome of selling instead of being valuable that they will keep moving the conversation to a sale instead of where the conversation is going. Be flexible and adaptable. Remember, just because they don’t buy doesn’t mean that they won’t be a client. Allow the conversation to flow as needed.
Number five, use silence to your advantage. Pausing after someone responds to your questions shows that you are actually taking in and giving thought to what they just said. It is a powerful tool that very few people use. Most often people are waiting with bated breath to respond and can barely let the person finish talking before they start talking. Powerful people pause.
Number six, ask probing questions. Questions that engage and prompt other people to explore their thoughts demonstrate that you’re actually curious about them. Curiosity is such an underutilized value. When you show that you’re curious, you’re actually showing that you care. Some of the examples of what do you think? Or how did you decide? Or what are you afraid? What happened? What go wrong? What would be the worst-case scenario? These are probing questions that allow the person you’re speaking to to actually expand into a realm that shows that you actually care about getting it right and delivering excellence.
Number seven, keep your questions short. Long-winded questions show lack of confidence, lack of self-awareness, lack of subject matter expertise. Concise questions are powerful. It’s always better to ask a series of concise questions than one long question that a person doesn’t understand where to begin answering.
Number eight, get your sequence right. Now, if you know you’re going to be having a difficult conversation and there’s some questions that have a sensitive matter, don’t start with the sensitive questions. Be willing to know how to have the sequence of building up trust, building up rapport before getting to the instead of matters at hand. Think about how you want that person to feel through the process and then create a sequence of questions.
Number nine, which is the final tip, use the appropriate tone. Be flexible in adjusting your style. Some questions will be excited, some questions will be serious, some questions will be thoughtful, some questions will be lighthearted, some questions will be fun. Be willing to adjust your tone and adapt to the environment, adapt to the response, your ability to maneuver and move within the questions and answers demonstrates your expertise, and it creates certainty, safety, and often transactions.
I’ll finish this quote by Nora Roberts, If you don’t ask a question, the answer is always no. Have a great day selling.
Scott Ingram: “Powerful People Pause” I love that line. If you’ve got a Question, Quandary, or Query for Meshell, you should reach out and ask her! We’ve got links for you to be able to do just that at DailySales.Tips/1632. Once you’ve clicked over there, be sure to click back here for another great sales tip. Thanks for listening!