You may have figured out by now that my wife’s the talkative one. Me – I prefer to listen. Or at least, not to talk quite so much.
If you’re anything like me, you may feel that not being a talker (smooth or otherwise) is a bit of an impediment to selling yourself, your service or your product effectively. But that’s not necessarily the case.
Being able to listen – really listen effectively, and actively – to what your prospect is saying, and more importantly to what they’re asking could be the key to success in your business.
Here’s some questions to watch out for, and how to answer them in a way that moves the prospect towards a purchase:
Question: “Do you have this one?”
Response: “Is this the one you’d like?” – If they say yes, all you need to do is fill out the order-form and you’re done.
Question: “Does it come in colour/size/fragrance?”
Response: “Would you like it in colour/size/fragrance?”
Question: “Can you deliver on Saturday?”
Response: “Is Saturday the day you need it delivered?”
Question: “Are these ones in stock? How long will it take to get them delivered?”
Response: “Do you need immediate delivery? How soon do you need them delivered?”
One thing you probably noticed here is that none of the questions were answered with a straight yes or no. Instead, the question is answered with another question that basically forces a close. The prospect is going to have to either confirm that they want to buy, or respond in the negative.
A negative response is just fine by the way. We’re not trying to manipulate anyone here. We just want to recognise the buying signal, and move the prospect towards closure. If they’re going to say no, better we find out sooner rather than later, right?
There’s plenty more signals to watch out for too, like the ones below:
- Questions about availability or time.
- Questions about delivery.
- Specific questions about rates, price, or statements about affordability.
- Any questions or statements about money.
- Positive questions about you or your business.
- Wanting something repeated.
- Statements about problems with previous services.
- Questions about features and options (What will it or you do?)
- Questions about productivity.
- Questions about quality, guarantee, or warranty.
- Questions about qualifications. (yours or the company’s)
- Specific positive questions about the company.
- Specific product or service questions.
- Specific statements about ownership of your product or service.
- Wanting to see a sample or demo again.
- Asking about other satisfied customers.
- Asking for a reference.
- Asking for a test or sample.
You can use your imagination as to specific examples of these kinds of questions for your business. In fact, it’s probably best that you do – because they’ll most likely be specific to the product or service you’re trying to sell. I’d even go so far as to heartily recommend that you go through them all and create a list of questions that your customers ask you during your sales pitches. You can then go ahead and craft some responses to them, so that the next time you hear a buying signal you know exactly what to say.
The trick to this whole exercise is constructing the list and the responses in the first place. That’s only going to happen as you begin talking to people. Lots of people. And you need to be listening hard in all of those conversations for the questions I’ve already mentioned, and the questions that are specific to your business.
Each time you find yourself in front of a client, score yourself on how many buying signals you heard and whether or not you responded to them effectively. Anytime you hear a new one, add it to the list along with an appropriate response you’ve constructed.
Over time, you’ll have them all committed to memory and sales should start to come much, much more easily.
Here’s the entire formula in three easy steps:
- Learn to recognise buyer signals.
- Have a response question ready for the specific question.
- Practice natural delivery of the response.
Of course, if you’re not getting in front of enough prospects in the first place, then that’s an entirely different problem. We can help you though. You can download a plan here to make you more productive in just 90mins a day here. Or for a more tailored approach, you can request a strategy call here.- Simon
P.S If you're interested in learning more about performance testing, checkout my Performance Testing 101 course here.