A vital part of contacting a prospect, especially a new prospect, is getting them talking. If you neglect this step, you’re not going to make it any further, and you certainly won’t make it to the close.
Getting the prospect to talk is done by granting importance to the prospect and what they’re saying, and continuing to be interested—asking them, for example, to “tell you more about that.” The key here is to be genuine—if you’re not genuine, the customer is going to know that, too. But if you’re genuinely interested in them and their ideas, they’ll want to communicate more.
Fully engaging with your prospect is the only way you ever learn anything about their needs, wants and desires as they relate to what you’re selling. Most people are trying to rush through the qualifying process, and not truly finding out the customer’s viewpoint. Only by obtaining that viewpoint will you positively move along in the sales process.
If you’re really sharp, you can sometimes spot a person’s issues or problems without them saying what they are. But this is highly dangerous as it’s assuming—and we all know what assuming does. Even if you spot these issues, you still must guide the customer to say it themselves. If they say it, it’s true, but if you say it, they can always argue with you. Get the prospect to tell you.
One good way to get them going is to ask questions. In our last blog, we listed out a few sample non-controversial questions you could ask to get the prospect talking. Here are a few more:
• What motivated you to inquire about _____ today?
• What inspired you to call (or make this appointment) today?
• Tell me about your interest in our product or service.
• How long have you been thinking about buying _____?
The best idea, though, is for you to come up with some questions yourself, based on your research or what you know about this prospect or their company.
Getting the prospect talking is something you should become really good at. Happy selling!
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