Chapter 12

Using Smart Questions

Sales Rep: “Boss, I can lead them to water, but I can’t make them drink.”

Manager: “You don’t want to make them do anything. Just help them realize they are thirsty.”

You now have a prospect on the phone whose interest has been piqued by your Smart opening statement. You have accomplished your opening statement objectives to:

  • Put them in a positive, receptive state of mind.
  • Move them to the questions.

Yikes! They’re waiting. What now?

What you do not want to do is to begin talking about your product, service, yourself, or your company. That would be presenting. Do it here, and it will create objections. Yet, it is what many sales reps do that causes calls to fail.

Instead, we will ask questions that serve several purposes:

  • To help us better understand the prospect’s possible needs, problems, pains, and desires.
  • To move them further into a state of mind where they better understand, see, and feel their needs, problems, pains, and desires.
  • To provide us with the prospect’s own words and terms they use to describe their needs and problems, which we will then later use in our recommendation.

Let’s look at what to ask, what to avoid—and what to do when we get answers.

Use Your Possible Benefits to Create Questions

If you have a list of benefits that you are supposed to recite on calls, you may want to throw it away right now. Every time I see one of these goofy things, it reminds me of what I shared with you earlier in the section on your Possible ...

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