Effective Questioning Techniques By Superior Salespeople

by Dick Ossi

Whenever an executive begins to look for a business consultant or coach to help them grow their people and their company, the business experience and cultural fit of that person becomes vital to their selection. They are usually looking for a consultant or consulting firm who has successfully "walked the walk" and provides cost-effective, tailored solutions. Dick understands that 'baptism by fire', 'learning by trial and error' and 'that is good enough' is not what senior executives are looking for in today's business climate. Dick Ossi's passion for business is contagious. His success with his clients stems from identifying their goals and business objectives to be achieved and then facilitating the actual accomplishment of those goals. Clients appreciate that Dick willingly taps into and shares his decades of experience as a former CEO and Senior V.P. of Sales to significantly help them as clients and as people.

There have been many articles written about selling. Many that I have written and many that I have read from other sales professionals. However, I firmly believe that the most important part of the sales call is "Discovering Wants and Needs."

Many salespeople do not spend the time in this area and immediately may launch into a sales presentation without understanding the wants and needs of the prospect. One trainer actually characterized this as someone suffering from 'premature presentation syndrome'.

The goal of this step, with effective open-ended questions in the sales process, is to understand why the wants and needs of the prospect are so important to them. In addition, you should help the prospect discover the rewards for taking action and the consequences of not taking action to attain their wants or needs. You need to discover (from their perspective) if there are any obstacles to taking action.

Your first objective is to discover areas of dissatisfaction. Before a prospect will buy your product or service, they must see a need for it and believe that the value or benefit will satisfy the need.

Your prospect must believe that your product or service can resolve this dissatisfaction, and that you and your company are the best option.

Effective questioning techniques are skills that most successful professionals practice and master at a level superior to average performers.

The research by The Sales Board showed that without mastering these skills, 82% of salespeople fail to differentiate themselves from competition and 86% ask the wrong questions.

Considering that good prospects are hard to come by and too expensive to waste, doesn't it seem worth it to do it right the first time?