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How to Sell More: Tools and Techniques from Harvard Business Review by Harvard Business Review

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Strategies for Answering Your Customers’ Toughest Questions

By Steve W. Martin

Steve W. Martin teaches sales strategy at the USC Marshall School of Business. His new book is titled Heavy Hitter Sales Linguistics: 101 Advanced Sales Call Strategies for Senior Salespeople.

One of the hardest things to do in all of sales is handle tough questions from skeptical prospective customers. After interviewing thousands of customers as part of the win-loss studies I have conducted, I can tell you with certainty that answering customer questions successfully is often the difference between winning and losing. Here are seven points to consider when answering questions.

Clarify the question first. Customers ask two basic types of questions. Some are ...

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