One of the things that I have always found puzzling in sales is how so many salespeople begin their sales pitch by touting all the amazing features and benefits of the product or service they are selling without even asking their prospect what they want. Before I ever begin a pitch, I ask questions – lots of them. Questions are the key to understanding everything you need to know to solve your prospects problem. Far too many salespeople approach the sale as a performance where they need to rattle off everything they have memorised about their product or service as quick as they can in case they forget something crucial to tell their prospect. How can you possibly know what is crucial to tell your prospect if you don’t know what is crucial to your prospect? You can only discover this by asking questions. Even a question as forward as “What do you want?” is better than not asking at all.
Salespeople need to let the prospect drive the direction of the conversation so we know where they want to go and how we can help them get there. As the experts on the product or service we are offering, if we discover during the questioning process that the destination is not right for them, we then need to help them realise a better alternative. Again, we cannot know any of this without asking questions. Your sole objective during the entire sales process should be to be in complete service of your prospect and provide them with the best solution for their needs. Not only will you have solved their problem, but you have also demonstrated your true expertise and acted in your prospects best interests (aka giving them what they want) – which builds trust and loyalty (another thing people want).
We are problem solvers. Professional solution providers. Every person on the face of the planet has a problem that they want a solution for. If we as salespeople can solve these problems for the people we work with, we can’t help but be successful in our careers. And the beautiful thing about this is that if you give as many people as possible what they want, you will eventually get everything you want.
This is one of the most rewarding things about a career in sales. Every day you truly get to help make peoples lives better. It can be very challenging at times, but when you approach each day from a place of service and be the solution someone is looking for, it energises you and your prospects will feed off that. So when you are in your next sales pitch, ask your prospect a question then stop talking and listen to what they tell you. Then ask them another and listen some more. Keep doing this until you have enough information to put together all the puzzle pieces and you know exactly what they want, then your job is simple – give them what they want.