It is common knowledge that people buy emotionally and justify the purchase intellectually. And people will buy based in their reasons, not the salespersons; which is why you will want to focus your conversations on them, rather than yourself.
Rule #1 in sales is; “It’s about them.” It is about their needs and wants, not what you have and offer. When you focus on them, you will ask more questions, while you focus on listening. You will let them talk and tell you their story. People love to talk about themselves. Let them be the storyteller, again, while you listen.
One question that is often overlooked is; “Why today?” What happened yesterday, that caused you to call (meet/talk with) me today? Why not last month or last year? Why not next month or next year? Why are we meeting today?
Can you see how those questions will uncover the personal motivations and reasons for them to be considering and curious about solving a problem with you today? They reached the level of frustration (emotions) that the current state of the situation is no longer acceptable and they desire (emotion) a different one.
Be warned. Any question that begins with WHY will automatically prompt an emotion. WHY will cause people to justify a decision or position and they may be defensive; which is why you will need to build enough trust, rapport and respect with your prospect before taking them to an emotionally level.
Any question that begins with WHY can be rephrased to start with HOW or WHAT. “What happened that caused you to reach out to me today?” See how that is different from; “Why are you reaching out to me today?”
When you have trust established, prospects will also give you honest answers to your questions. Prospects give two types of answers. One puts them in the best light. No one likes to show their warts or admit they are struggling with a problem. They want to appear as if everything is perfect and I have my life put together better than the other guy.
The other answer is the honest one. This one, they admit they have a struggle going on and they are comfortable being venerable with you, so you can help them change the current state.
Time is your biggest influencer and competitor. Doing nothing is an option (most of the time). Using time as a motivator will shorten your sales cycle and reduce the think-it-over’s you are forced to accept, because the right questions were not asked.
Build trust, uncover the motivations and urgency through the right questions – why now – so you can present specific solutions that will deliver the sales results you are looking for when the prospect is qualified. (that’s another set of questions).