Ask Questions, Get Results - The Art of Listening, Part II
“Say I’m the salesperson and you’re Demeter again, and we’re sitting in Demeter Café’s dining area,” Zoot continued. “Demeter, I think a new oven would go great in that open space next to your kitchen stove, don’t you? And what if we placed torches in the lobby and along the back walls; do you think that would provide your restaurant with enough light?”
“I get it,” Ganymede said. “These questions get the prospect involved in the fire service or product we’re selling.”
“Precisely,” Zoot replied, pleased his apprentice was learning so fast. “Prospects that answer these questions are moving toward a buying decision. If Demeter can ‘see’ our torches, ovens, matches or other products adding value to her restaurant, she’ll be one step closer to doing business with us.”
“Now, Demeter, would you like to have these torches delivered tomorrow, or would next week be more convenient?” Zoot added.
“Either way Demeter answers, she’s moving toward the sale!” Ganymede said excitedly.
“Exactly,” Zoot said. “There’s a direct correlation between your ability to ask the right questions and making a lot of sales. Active listening and intelligent questioning form a knockout one-two punch that will lead to sales success.”
Over the next few weeks, Ganymede stopped talking so much and started listening and asking questions. He was amazed at how prospects and customers reacted. After he had listened to them diligently, asked questions, and addressed their particular concerns, they were more receptive once the sales rep asked for the order. His closing rate skyrocketed.
One day, in celebration of his improved performance, Ganymede brought in gourmet grapes for the whole sales staff. Popping a grape in his mouth, Zoot said, “I’m proud of how you’ve improved, but I’ve been watching you the last couple of days. Your approach still needs improvement. Don’t worry—it’s nothing we can’t fix.”