Google+

A Sales Call Is A Conversation Not An Inquisition

A Sales Call Is A Conversation Not An Inquisition

By Dan Caramanico

Sales training professionals talk a lot about asking questions. I myself am a big proponent of asking questions. One of my favorite aphorisms is that “you tell more about what you know by the questions you ask than by the statements you make.” Questions get the prospect talking and let us find out information about the prospect. By asking questions we demonstrate our interest in the prospect and foster understanding. Rather than seeing us as a “pitchman”, questions help us establish that we are interested in a relationship with the prospect and we are not just looking for a short term result. Questions are an essential element of a prospect-centered sales process.

There are all kinds of distinctions made about questioning techniques. Trainers tell you to ask open ended questions rather than closed ended questions that can be handled with a one word answer. This is good advice since closed ended questions force you to have to carry the conversation and, as we all know, you can’t learn anything about the prospect if we are the ones doing all of the talking. They tell you to ask “probing” questions to get to the real issues. I am not so sure about this one. Sometimes probing questions can be seen as intrusive and trigger defense mechanisms in the prospect and cause him or her to shut down and make it difficult to get any more information at all. You have to earn the right to ask these kinds of questions.

Questions are a good thing but as is true of many things, too much of a good thing is not always good for you. The problem with all of this focus on questions and questioning techniques is that the sales call starts to look more like an inquisition or an interrogation and defeat the purpose of the sales call. Remember that you are trying to establish a relationship with this person not conduct a “third degree”.  If the prospect starts to perceive the interaction as a one-way interrogation of sorts, it will become very hard to develop a bond or a relationship and you will be relegated to getting superficial or even misleading information. The most effective way to conduct a sales call is to establish a conversation. A conversation by definition is a two-way exchange. They ask questions. You ask questions. They make statements you make statements. It is an exchange between two people of equal stature (that’s a whole other topic by the way) trying to get to know each other. It is within this framework that you should ask your questions. They will be received in a much better fashion and give you a higher probability of getting the depth of information and emotion you are looking for. So the lesson for today is integrate your questions into a free flowing two-way conversation. Don’t fire them at the prospect in the form of an inquisition or an interrogation.

 

 

To get  more sales tips click here to sign up for the free OPTMAL SELLING™ weekly video sales tip.

Entertainment

For movies opening September 30, 2016

  OPENING THIS WEEK Kam's Kapsules Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun by Kam Williams For movies opening September 30, 2016 BIG BUDGET FILMS   Deepwater Horizon (PG-13 for intense action sequences, disturbing images and brief profanity) Disaster flick recreating the real-life events surrounding the 2010 explosion of the offshore oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico which claimed the lives of 11 crewmen and led to the worst … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Books

Richards Rocks!

  Sandra L. Richards The “Rice & Rocks” Interview with Kam Williams Richards Rocks! The American-born daughter of Jamaican immigrant parents, Sandra L. Richards is the author of “Rice & Rocks.” She hopes that her debut picture book will serve as an educational resource for families seeking to teach their children the value of their heritage and the importance of cultural diversity. Sandra completed both her undergraduate and … [Read More its Good for You...]

Art

More Than a Score

  ACRONYM TO FOLLOW by Peter Brav   Finally Our Day has come There’s a Day for everything For doughnuts, siblings, eight track tapes Grilled cheese, daughters and sons to work Encouragement, Alzheimer’s Coffee, math, chewing gum Blasphemy, yo-yos And now finally One for us Truly a Day to celebrate National Don’t Shoot An Unarmed Brother Doctor King Not Seeing Progress George Orwell Laughing It Is So About the … [Read More its Good For You...]

Real Estate

New Home Sales Jump in April

  New Home Sales Jump in April By Burt Carey Sales of new homes hit their highest rate since 2008 in April, according to the Commerce Department’s U.S. Census Bureau. April sales increased 16.6 percent over March figures, which correlates to a seasonally adjusted rate of 619,000 home sales projected for the year. The median price of those new homes was $321,000, the highest median price ever recorded. That’s up 9.7 percent … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Lifestyle

Richards Rocks!

  Sandra L. Richards The “Rice & Rocks” Interview with Kam Williams Richards Rocks! The American-born daughter of Jamaican immigrant parents, Sandra L. Richards is the author of “Rice & Rocks.” She hopes that her debut picture book will serve as an educational resource for families seeking to teach their children the value of their heritage and the importance of cultural diversity. Sandra completed both her undergraduate and … [Read More its Good for You...]

Outdoors

Apex Gear ACCU•STRIKE XS Series Bow Sights

  Apex Gear ACCU•STRIKE XS Series Bow Sights By Brad Fenson As an avid bowhunter, I’m always looking for a sight to not only help me acquire a target accurately and quickly but provide adjustability while being lightweight. It might be a lot to ask for but with a wide array of hunting situations, you have to be selective in your equipment to ensure you are always successful in the long run. The Apex Gear ACCU•STRIKE™ XS was … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

There Are Superheroes Among Us

  There Are Superheroes Among Us by Amy Lignor   This story truly proves that a superhero does not require a cape, tights, or the ability to fly. In a world where all headlines seem to be centered around who shot who, who is being put upon, who’s “getting away with it” – all the way to who is getting divorced and who may or may not be kneeling at NFL games – negative stories seem to be the only ones covered anymore by the media. … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

Scholastic Announces Sales of More Than 3.3 Million Copies of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

  Scholastic Announces Sales of More Than 3.3 Million Copies of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two New York, NY (August 10, 2016) — Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two script book, the eighth Harry Potter story by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne, published in the U.S. and Canada by Scholastic has sold more than 3.3 million copies in North America to date.Scholastic announced a first printing … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

Vacation Time Has Turned “Spooky”

  Vacation Time Has Turned “Spooky” by Amy Lignor   Myths and legends, both spooky and surreal, are becoming the subject of many books and newspaper articles lately. And the location of many, oddly enough, happen to be in the Southwest. It used to be that a nice white sandy beach was the one place we yearned to go on vacation to get away from it all. Now, however, people are searching for places to travel where legends still exist, and … [Read More its Good for You...]

Green Living

Controlling a Species: Humans Being Humane

  Controlling a Species: Humans Being Humane by Amy Lignor   Humane. There is a reason why this word and human are basically spelled the same. What needs to happen, however, is for them to mean the same. There are societies out there that talk about just that. From clubs to groups to volunteer organizations that protect all varieties of our animal friends, “humane” is one act that they wish would be considered in any and all … [Read More its Good for You...]