We all get requests to quote and send out information. What you will read here can improve your sales process and your ability to better qualify a business opportunity.
There are a few secret questions and strategies I have used in the sales process that have proven to be very powerful. I will give you one question and one strategy at a time so you can get comfortable using them and then be better prepared for next week’s question and strategy.This question has opened the door to incredible amounts of valuable information I might never have gathered if I had not used this secret question and strategy.
After I give it to you please don’t dismiss it or just log off. I will give you very specific ways I used the question and strategy—and how it helped me. I will also give you some samples to work with this week.
Here we go…..
Question #1: “Why and why now?”
Strategy #1: “Before we begin…”
This question and strategy on the surface may seem bizarre or over simplified. You may say I know why they are contacting me; I am with my prospect, the sales process has already begun, why should I say “before we begin…”? They have a need, they want to buy, etc., and you may be correct. Read on.
As a child do you remember saying, “It wasn’t me; it isn’t my fault; I didn’t do it!” I believe it is universal to say we have all used those statements. It indicates from childhood there was a little bit of a sales person in all of us. And we believe the presentation hopefully will make the difference.
Well, if the truth is to be told, the best sales people are the sales people that know how to position themselves. They know how to ask the powerful and sometimes difficult questions at the right time, even when there are risks.
When you ask the question “Why and why now?” you are tapping into the heart of the motivation of the individual and the reason they are doing what they do. You will learn information you would never have believed you would hear.
I was interviewing a potential vice president of sales. At the beginning of the interview I asked the candidate if could ask him some questions about his resume. He gave me permission and then I turned his resume over on the conference table and said, “Before we begin, I am curious why are you in the job market and why now?” I learned so much about the individual he actually disqualified himself. The candidate told me he planned on being in New Jersey for a year or so to help his sister. He then planned to move back to his home in California at the end of that period but needed an income while in New Jersey. My client was looking for someone that would stay with the company for a longer length of time.
In the candidate’s mind we weren’t starting yet so the information I was given didn’t count. The candidate also had a need to justify his actions to me.
On another occasion I was contacted by a very large banking institution in New York City. They had asked if I could provide them with my training philosophy and some training outlines for them to review. They also told me they had over 500 hundred branch people they wanted to train. I was impressed that they would contact me and did my best not to get emotionally involved. I later learned that their statement about the 500 people to train was just bait for me to bite on.
I asked the Secret Question and used the secret strategy.
Here is what I said, “Before we begin, I am just wondering why would you be contacting me about my training philosophy and training materials and why now?”
I was told each year they contact training organizations to keep up to date on any new training trends and read one of my articles. They were interested in my training programs.
I was also told: “We will take a look at what you send us and if we see value in it we then design our own programs and deliver them to our organization through our human resource department.”
I said a very polite, “Thank you for calling me, but I am not interested in participating.”
The person I was having the conversation with heard, “Before we begin…” and in her mind the information she was sharing didn’t count because we had not begun yet.
This is a very important point. How many times were you contacted, courted by prospects that seemed interested only to be left in the dust.
I am on your side. It takes guts to really qualify an opportunity. It is sometimes scary to ask tough questions because of the fear of losing something. I strongly suggest you look for ways to use this Secret Question and Strategy.
Samples to play with:
“I would be happy to provide a quote. Before we begin,
I am curious as to why you have contacted us and why now?”
“I would be happy to tell you what we do. Before we begin, I am curious why would you want our information and why now?”
This information is for you to use and it is free. If you find value in this Blog you can help me by telling your friends and colleagues and send them to my website to sign up for my Blogs.
You will help me and them. The link to my website is www.turrisiassociates.com