One Test to Determine Whether Your Sales Call Was a Winner or a Loser

Are You Asking the Right Questions?

After 30 years of research and consulting, I’m hearing one complaint from executives more and more. They’re tired of the traditional diagnostic questioning methodologies. Not only do they find the 20-questions format tedious, but I’ve also heard that they feel as though these questioning techniques are doing the sales person’s job for them.

Top-level executives expect you to know their biggest problems already by the time you meet with them.

Think about it: You speak with more people like them than they do. If you’re doing your job right, you see hundreds—if not thousands—of similar decision makers facing similar situations, which can offer you tremendous insight. As a result, you should know things they don’t. You have ideas and insights.

However, all this being said, questions are still one of the best ways to get engagement in your customer conversations. The trick is to ask the right questions.

How do you know if you’re asking the right questions? Here’s a simple test. After your next sales call, stop and ask yourself:

  • What did the customer get out of that conversation with me?
  • Did they take any notes?
  • Did they ask any questions in return?
  • Did they elaborate beyond the things I asked them for?

If you’re the only one who learned something from the conversation, you didn’t create value for your customer. If that’s the case, the hard truth is that you’ll likely lose that deal.

In my next blog post, I’ll show you examples of the kinds of provocative questions that not only add value to your customer conversations, but also set you up for a win.

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