Sometimes as sales professionals, we unintentionally erode the trust we have with our clients. The way we pose a question or the way we treat our clients can prevent us from closing a deal. Sometimes the questions you ask are not building trust.
On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we continue our month-long discussion about closing, and how the questions you ask are not building trust. Many of us make common mistakes that keep us from closing.
Trust is truly valuable. If you don’t have trust as a sales professional, your clients will never buy from you.
People do business with people they know, like, and trust. You’ve probably also heard that it’s not what you know, but who you know.
The truth is that closing begins early in the sales process.
We have to realize that the questions we ask our prospects will determine whether they trust us moving forward. When we don’t ask them well, they’ll cause our prospects to see us as superior or misleading.
They’ll perceive that we have an agenda and that you’re using your questions to frame your plan. If, for example, we ask questions that we already know the answer to, it erodes your trust because it’s not genuine.
Asking a question isn’t bad unless you’re asking a question in an attempt to get your prospect to give you a specific answer.
Imagine your prospect runs a print shop and has a printer that is down.
“What do you think will happen if you don’t get it fixed?”
Clearly, the salesperson knows the answer to this question. If the printer doesn’t work then the company won’t make money.
Asking that question will likely make everyone involved feel stupid because both parties already know the answer to it. Instead, I’ll ask something more specific that helps me learn more about your situation.
“Clearly it’s not good for business that your printer is down, but how much would you say you guys do on a day-to-day basis?”
If you’re talking to a prospect about changing from a current supplier and the prospect insists on staying with the current provider, you can safely bet that fear is the driver.
They’re probably afraid of your price. It’s possible that they’re afraid of changing to a new company. They may fear setting up a new process or going through the process of canceling services.
Instead of asking if they think it’s a good idea to stay with the current provider, ask if you can share your own observations. Your prospect usually won’t say no, and if you’ve built a good rapport, they’ll usually be willing to hear what you have to say.
When the prospect sees that you have no hidden agenda and that you’re being authentic, it builds trust.
We had a client in a similar circumstance who didn’t want to switch from his current vendor because he had been with the vendor for 10 years. Although there were problems with the vendor, it was easier to stay than it was to change.
The decision to stay cost them a lot of money, and eventually the prospect changed to our company. Because he knew that we cared about his business and we were trying to guide him, he trusted us.
They need you to help them make a good decision, and when you ask for permission to share your knowledge, they’ll give it to you.
We can become top-performing sellers if we use questions and psychology to make our buyers feel comfortable. We can help them recognize their true challenges and guide them toward the decisions that is best for them.
The Sales Evangelist is building a new course this month and we’d love to have you take part in it. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
“Questions You Ask Are NOT Building Trust” episode resources
Check out the video of Jean being set up by his girlfriend.
You can read the article by Dr. Rom Brafman here.
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