When you ask a great sales question, do you stop to listen, or do you fall into the temptation of answering your own question? I've seen sales people ask great questions and just before the customer responds... the sales person starts guessing at the answer.
A sales rep might ask, "What demand generation and lead conversion strategies are you using?" one second... two seconds... of uncomfortable silence, and the sales person jumps right back in with, "Are you focused on content marketing? ...or on blogging? ...or are you running any social media campaigns?" ...followed by a little rambling and rephrasing of the original sales question, "What kinds of things... uh... are you working on to... uh... help your sales and marketing team... uh... generate more leads and close more new business?"
The prospect is completely confused. They're wondering, "What was your question, and what were those options again?" ...so the client takes the easiest path and picks one of the options you provided. They willingly say, "Yes... we've been running a few social media campaigns."
Sales people fall into the trap all the time. They think they're uncovering needs, but the truth is, they're just guessing at the same old common issues that relate to the target market.
The real problem comes when it's time to close the deal. The sales person doesn't know the prospect's real interests. When the customer says they are not ready to buy, the sales person is left wondering, "What happened?!!! I was probing. I uncovered their pain, I built value, and everything was going great. How can they not be ready to buy? They customer said they have a HUGE retention problem... right?"
So... What if I told you we've been asking the wrong questions?
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