Sellers often think that if they just keep talking–just keep speaking about all the compelling features and benefits of a product–something will catch the buyer’s attention.
It doesn’t work this way.
What the buyer needs is connection. The only way you can have connection is through questions that demonstrate curiosity.
Features and benefits without relatability are just facts.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s in a social setting or sales.
To sell your product in a sales meeting, engage in these ABCs:
Always Be Connecting.
Always Be Curious.
How do you do this? By asking impactful questions.
Open-ended questions—also known as “high gain questions”—are ideal. Yes/no questions still prompt great information too.
The questions you ask will, of course, vary depending on your industry. Adapt the questions below as needed.
Questions to establish rapport and connection:
• What first drew you to work in this field?
• How would you describe the mission of your company?
• What do you enjoy most about this field?
• Can you tell me more about your role?
• Now that I’ve learned a bit more about you, would it be helpful if I tell you a bit about how our company’s mission aligns with yours?
Questions to dive deeper into the needs and wants of the customer:
• What would you most like to achieve or address during our time together today?
• When you’re selecting a product/service, what qualities are most important to you?
• When you think about the revenue you get from this particular product category, is this something you’re looking to grow?
• What is your biggest challenge with [issue the customer just mentioned]?
• What other products or services have you tried to address this issue? What did you like about those products/services? What didn’t you like?
• If I can show you how to achieve improved clinical outcomes (or increased revenue, etc.) without requiring any extra work, is this something you’d be interested in learning about?
Any of the above questions can be enough to spark a meaningful and fruitful conversation that naturally leads to identifying a solution.
If the solution meets the original problem or need, a sale will naturally take place without you ever feeling “salesy.”
Also identify not only what service or product the person needs but what their intrinsic desires and motivations are.
If you are pitching a product to a client who is data-driven by nature, but you don’t realize that data is a priority when they’re making decisions, you might not pitch the product in a way that resonates with them. That’s why it’s so important to ask, “When it comes to selecting XYZ product, what is most important to you?”
If you’re pitching a product to a client who is an idealist and wants to bring more good into the world, your pitch will be tone-deaf if you focus too much on how they can maximize their revenue with the product. Instead, help them see how that product will bring more good into the world.
Clients won’t always tell you their motivations in words, but you can intuit this information based on how they answer your questions. Observe their body language, tone of voice, and how they make eye contact. Do they want to make an emotional connection with you, or are they eager to get to the facts?
This will tell you a lot about who they are and what their intrinsic motivations are. Respond to their cues and mirror what is important to them so your message can be heard.
Feel free to share other examples of high gain questions in the comments below.