During your sales interview and presentation, ask questions to guide you in the right direction. After you ask the question, stop talking and give the customer time to answer. Asking the correct questions will give you that little extra advantage you need to finalize the sale. The more you know about your prospect, the closer you’ll get to the yes. Stay focused on what the customer wants to buy, not what you want to sell. You don’t want to be pushing apples when your customer wants to buy oranges.
In addition to focusing on your customers’ wants, there are some other important factors you should consider when selling. Here are a few general questions to ask your customers that can give you a step in the right direction. Add a few more of your own that can help in your specific industry.
- Are you the person who will make the final buying decision?
- How soon do you plan to purchase?
- What quantity do you usually purchase?
- How often do you reorder?
- How soon do you want delivery?
- Have you ever purchased this product or service before?
- How long have you been buying from your current supplier?
- Have there been any problems you would like to eliminate?
- What’s your most important consideration when selecting a supplier (quality, price, delivery, reputation, and so on)?
- What kind of budget do you have for this purchase?
- Are you also looking at any other products or services?
You can ask these questions in any order. If your prospect hesitates about answering one, skip it and go on to the next one. Either mentally remember the customer’s answers or quickly jot them down for future reference. In the course of answering, the customer may even give you a little more information than you asked for. Be ready for it, and let him keep talking. When you know what’s most important to the customer, you can guide your presentation in that direction.