Making a sale can seem like second nature to account managers, but Jason Miller of Procare in Grand Rapids, Mich., says asking the right questions can increase those sales even more.
At the Bach Business Partners Sales and Manager Boot Camp at Seven Springs Resort, Miller and attendees held a roundtable discussion on asking questions during a sale. First and foremost, steer clear from closed-ended questions. If the answer can be yes or no, you’re already leaving room for a lull in the communication process.
“When you ask yes or no questions, you get incomplete answers,” Miller says. Open-ended questions allow the client to add additional insight and give you more tools to advance the sale.
If you run into a lull with close-ended questions, follow-ups can save the conversation.
Sales people tend to have a hard time being quiet, Miller says. That can lead to missed opportunities or missed information that can help them tie up the sale. He suggests getting comfortable with silence in a conversation. If you wait for a response, you may be able to draw out more key information from the client.
“Let them talk to you,” he says. “Leave room for the unprepared, unrehearsed stuff.”
Before heading into an initial meeting, some attendees suggested coming up with a pre-qualifying questionnaire. These questions will give you insight into how the client is thinking and also help you weed out a client that may not be a good fit.
The attendees also came up with a list of questions to get the ball rolling during a sales conversation. Here’s a few suggestions from the crowd:
- What is your number one goal?
- Is this process something you are comfortable with?
- What are you looking for in a landscape company?
- What are your immediate landscape needs?
- Passing baton of power: If this decision were yours alone, what would you do?
- How long have you been thinking about this?
- Why are you using this space?
- How often do you entertain? This can indicate if the client cares about the perception of their peers.
- What are your goals, why did you call us?
- Why are you looking to make the change in providers?