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The 12 Deadly Sins of Sales Questioning – Are You Guilty?

Are you a good questioner? Most sales reps are not. Here is a list of the twelve most common “sins” made by tele-sales reps (or field reps for that matter) and what you can do about them. Are you guilty of any of these mistakes?

1. Not Asking Questions at All

Still, after the millions of words that have been written about the importance and value of questioning, there are sales reps that continue to ignore the advice and simply pitch the product. Asking questions gets clients involved by getting THEM to tell YOU what they want or need or think is important. When they’re involved, they are more likely to buy. To solve this blunder, stop talking and start asking.

2. Asking Dumb and Destructive Questions

Don’t be fooled, there ARE dumb questions. For instance, “What do you like about your current supplier?” is a particularly dumb and destructive question. This question gets the client to open up and verbally ‘testify’ why they like your competitor. In effect, it justifies and reinforces their rationale for choosing their vendor which makes your job even tougher. What to do? THINK about the questions you are going to ask before you ask them.

3. Asking too Many Questions

While questions are good and necessary in the selling process too much of a good thing can be dangerous. Asking too many questions can overwhelm, bore or frustrate your client and YOU. Ask yourself: What do I really need to know from the customer or prospect?” Focus on these questions to ensure you get what you need.

4. Asking too Many Open Ended Questions

Open ended questions are often positioned as the Holy Grail of questions because they get the client to ‘open up’ and provide vital information on their problems, predicaments, pains, opportunities, challenges and the like. However, the truth of the matter is too many open ended questions can be destructive. Unless they are relevant and pertinent, they can confuse, bore, annoy, overwhelm, and bewilder the client. They can often lead you down paths you don’t want to go. The solution is twofold: carefully select your open ended questions and then direct and point the discussion with the judicious use of closed ended questions.

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