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Have You Earned The Right To Sell To Your Prospect?

 

The Complete Guide To Asking Questions That Will Get Your Prospect Talking

Have you earned the right to sell to your prospect?

 

At this point, I am going to assume that you’ve secured a face to face meeting with your prospect. (Because you fully understand that you cannot sell on the telephone!)

You enter the meeting and do what? Start pitching the client on why you’re the best? Pull out statistics that show your station is the most effective in regard to reach and audience?

No!

Telling isn’t selling.

You have to earn the right to sell to this prospect! But, how? With questions.

You need to learn how to use four types of questions.

1. Open-ended questions

2. Expansion Questions

3. Yes questions

4. Either/or questions

 

 

Your Desire To Help

I want to review some facts.

  • You genuinely believe that your station has the ability to drive more qualified business opportunities into the prospect’s store
  • You genuinely believe that you are the person who can help this prospect design an advertising campaign to accomplish this
  • People make an emotional decision to buy and then justify that emotional decision with facts

If you first inundate your prospect with facts, figures and details he has no reason to buy from you rather than the next sales consultant who walks in his door with similar facts, figures and details.

To build the relationship, you need to warm up the prospect by getting them to talk.

The Walk-Around

Start with a tour/walk around of the prospect’s retail space. The key thing to remember during this tour is to ask questions. If the prospect doesn’t offer a tour, ask for one. If he begins a quick walk-through, slow him down with questions.

During this walk-around, you will use questions to:

  1. Build rapport
  2. Uncover needs
  3. Investigate
  4. Control the conversation

When looking through the examples below, think of how the answers will help you close the sale later.

Open-Ended Questions

 Who – What – Why – When – Where – How – Which

Here are some examples you can ask a client as he walks you through the store.

  • Which of these brands give you the most profit?
  • Why did you decide to carry these brands?
  • How long have you owned this company?
  • What kind of customer is most valuable to your business?
  • When did you start carrying this line of products?
  • Why did you decide to feature this line of items so prominently?
  • Who is responsible for gauging customer satisfaction and loyalty?
  • What training does your staff have to educate the customer on this line of products?
  • How long has your most senior employee been here?

 

Expansion Questions

Expansion questions are similar to open-ended questions, except they require a bit more thought from both you, the person asking the questions, and the prospect, the person answering the questions.

The draw-back to open-ended questions is that it is possible for the prospect to give you one-word answers that limit your ability to get them to open up.

Expansion questions can stand alone, or be asked as a follow-up to an open-ended question.

In its most basic form, a follow-up expansion question can be:

“Can you expand on that?” or “Will you tell me more about that?”

If you are going to use expansion questions as a follow-up tool to an open-ended question, I suggest that you will appear most interested in the prospect’s answer if you phrase the question similarly to their answer to the open-ended question you may have just asked.

Here are some examples of expansion questions you can use as follow-up questions to the open-ended questions given above:

You: Which of these brands give you the most profit?
Prospect: The Kubota line.
You: Will you tell me how you came to that conclusion?

You: Why did you decide to carry these brands?
Prospect: It’s required by the franchise.
You: Walk me through some of the other franchise requirements.

You: How long have you owned this company?
Prospect: 1978.
You: Wow! That’s great. Will you tell me the story of how you became involved?

You: What kind of customer is most valuable to your business?
Prospect: Loyal ones.
You: Will you tell me about how you track customer loyalty?

You: When did you start carrying this line of products?
Prospect: Since we opened up in 1978.
You: Will you share with me how this product line has performed for you over the years?

You: Why did you decide to feature this line of items so prominently?
Prospect: It’s a popular line of products.
You: Will you tell me more about that? What makes customers love it so much?

You: Who is responsible for gauging customer satisfaction and loyalty?
Prospect: Fred.
You: Will you share with me specifically how Fred tracks that?

You: What training does your staff receive to help educate the customer on this line of products?
Prospect: They take a bunch of web training.
You: I imagine it’s pretty intensive, Will you tell me more about that?

You: How long has your most senior employee been here?
Prospect: Since I opened
You: Wow, that’s loyalty! What do you think has made him so loyal to you?

 

Either/Or Questions

Expansion questions help you investigate and learn more about the prospect’s business, their motivation, their most profitable product lines and most importantly shows the prospect that you are really there to help them. You’re not there to sell, you’re there to help.

Either/Or Questions have multiple purposes. They are especially useful if the prospect is very unwilling to talk. In their most basic form, they are questions where you provide the answers.

Imagine that you are doing a walk-around with a prospect who doesn’t seem willing to talk much. He resents that you forced him into this meeting and you’re getting the impression that he wants you to leave as soon as possible and is going to do that by being evasive.

To encourage the prospect to open up a little, let’s take the open-ended questions we already asked and preface those with either/or questions.

You: Do you prefer to sell the Kubota line or the John Deere line?
Prospect: John Deere.
You: Which of these brands give you the most profit?
Prospect: The Kubota line.
You: Will you tell me how you came to that conclusion?

You: Do you only carry this brand of yarn or do you carry others?
Prospect: I carry 3 brands of yarn.
You: Why did you decide to carry these brands?
Prospect: It’s required by the franchise.
You: Walk me through some of the other franchise requirements.

You: Have you been involved with the company for a long time or did you become involved more recently?
Prospect: A long time.
You: How long have you owned this company?
Prospect: 1978
You: Wow! That’s great. Will you tell me the story of how you became involved?

You: Does your company have a rewards program or do you depend more on one-time shoppers?
Prospect: The franchise has a rewards program we use.
You: What kind of customer is most valuable to your business?
Prospect: Loyal ones
You: Will you tell me about how you track customer loyalty?

You: Is this line of plumbing fixtures used by professionals or do-it-yourselfers?
Prospect: Do-it-yourselfers.
You: When did you start carrying this line of products?
Prospect: Since we opened up in 1978
You: Will you share with me how this product line has performed for you over the years?

You: These end caps look great. Do you design them or does the franchise provide you with the materials?
Prospect: We construct them.
You: Why did you decide to feature this line of items so prominently?
Prospect: It’s a popular line of products.
You: Will you tell me more about that? What makes customers love it so much?

You: Do you track customer satisfaction and loyalty or is that something that needs work?
Prospect: We track it.
You: Who is responsible for gauging customer satisfaction and loyalty?
Prospect: Fred.
You: Will you share with me specifically how Fred tracks that?

You: With so many product lines, it must be tough getting new staff members up to speed. Is your onboarding process slow or pretty fast?
Prospect: It’s slow.
You: What training does your staff receive to help educate the customer on this line of products?
Prospect: They take a bunch of web training.
You: I imagine it’s pretty intensive, will you tell me more about that?

You: A lot of business owners tell me that finding good employees is their biggest struggle. Do you have the same problem or have you had luck finding good people?
Prospect: We’ve had good luck.
You: How long has your most senior employee been here?
Prospect: Since I opened.
You: Wow, that’s loyalty! What do you think has made him so loyal to you?

Can you see how encouraging the prospect to open up to you will make you more of an expert on his business and better equip you to offer him advertising solutions later?

 

Yes questions

YES” questions encourage the prospect to agree with you. Yes questions will confirm to the prospect that you understand their needs, that you were listening to their answers, that they need you to help them and most importantly, that advertising with you is the right choice.

The easiest form of “Yes” question is to add the phrase “isn’t it?” or “doesn’t it?” to the end of your statement.

Let’s take the same series of questions we’ve been asking and tack a YES question on after the prospect’s answer.

You: Do you prefer to sell the Kubota line or the John Deere line?
Prospect: John Deere.
You: Which of these brands give you the most profit?
Prospect: The Kubota line.
You: Will you tell me how you came to that conclusion?
Prospect: (In-depth answer)
You: It sure sounds like it would be helpful to get more people in to buy the Kubota line then, doesn’t it?

You: Do only carry this brand of yarn or do you carry others?
Prospect: I carry 3 brands of yarn.
You: Why did you decide to carry these brands?
Prospect: It’s required by the franchise.
You: Walk me through some of the other franchise requirements.
Prospect: (in-depth answer)
You: It’s a good idea to make the franchise happy, isn’t it?

You: Have you been involved with the company for a long time or did you become involved more recently?
Prospect: A long time.
You: How long have you owned this company?
Prospect: 1978.
You: Wow! That’s great. Will you tell me the story of how you became involved?
Prospect: (in-depth answer)
You: In my experience people love stories, it seems like a good idea to get your story out there, doesn’t it?

You: Does your company have a rewards program or do you depend more on one-time shoppers?
Prospect: The franchise has a rewards program we use.
You: What kind of customer is most valuable to your business?
Prospect: Loyal ones.
You: Will you tell me about how you track and create customer loyalty?
Prospect: (in-depth answer)
You: Since loyal customers lead to the most profit, it seems like a good idea to try to get customers who tend to be loyal shoppers in your door, doesn’t it?

You: Is this line of plumbing fixtures used by professionals or do-it-yourselfers?
Prospect: Do-it-yourselfers.
You: When did you start carrying this line of products?
Prospect: Since we opened up in 1978.
You: Will you share with me how this product line has performed for you over the years?
Prospect: (in-depth answer)
You: With this product being such a well-known brand and a high-profit item, it makes sense to feature this very heavily in advertising, doesn’t it?

You: These end caps look great. Do you design them or does the franchise provide you with the materials?
Prospect: We construct them.
You: Why did you decide to feature this line of items so prominently?
Prospect: It’s a popular line of products.
You: Will you tell me more about that? What makes customers love it so much?
Prospect: (in-depth answer)
You: With such high customer satisfaction on this product it seems like a good idea to build your CSI by putting this product in the hands of more customers, doesn’t it?

You: Do you track customer satisfaction and loyalty or is that something that needs work?
Prospect: We track it.
You: Who is responsible for gauging customer satisfaction and loyalty?
Prospect: Fred.
You: Will you share with me specifically how Fred tracks that?
Prospect: (in-depth answer)
You: That’s great! Armed with that information Fred will be able to give us valuable feedback on the success of the advertising campaigns, won’t he?

You: With so many product lines, it must be tough getting new staff members up to speed. Is your onboarding process slow or pretty fast?
Prospect: It’s slow.
You: What training does your staff receive to help educate the customer on this line of products?
Prospect: They take a bunch of web training.
You: I imagine it’s pretty intensive, Will you tell me more about that?
Prospect: (in-depth answer)
You: They are really experts after their training is complete. When customers know that, they’ll be more willing to engage the employees, won’t they?

You: A lot of business owners tell me that finding good employees is their biggest struggle. Do you have the same problem or have you had luck finding good people?
Prospect: We’ve had good luck.
You: How long has your most senior employee been here?
Prospect: Since I opened
You: Wow, that’s loyalty! What do you think has made him so loyal to you?
Prospect: (in-depth answer)
You: That says a lot about you and your company. I think that kind of reputation goes a long way with customers, doesn’t it?

Conclusion

I trust by now you’ve begun to see the value of asking questions, haven’t you?

Asking the right questions and listening to the answers can impact your ability to sell, won’t it?

Showing the prospect that you’re interested in them and their business helps build rapport and solidifies the relationship, doesn’t it?

Building rapport, a relationship and learning about their business gives you the right to sell to your prospect, doesn’t it?

You want to find out how asking questions can help you close the sale, don’t you?

It’d be great if that was the subject of our next training session, don’t you think?

Sharing these lessons with colleagues in the business would be a great thing to do, wouldn’t it?

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Glen Pavlovich

Glen Pavlovich

Glen Pavlovich, the founder of Pavlovich Marketing began his career in advertising and marketing in 1989 with a career in radio. Immediately his study of markets, messages, audience building, and the full marketing arsenal began.  More than 30 years later, he has continued to help businesses with their advertising campaigns, websites, e-commerce, and business management, all the while learning about new marketing vehicles, trends, target audiences, and message crafting.  He founded Pavlovich Marketing with one goal in mind:

 

To help BroadcastersSmall Business owners and Entrepreneurs, regardless of industry, create marketing that isn’t just advertising. It’s the core of their business.  Marketing and advertising that is an investment, not an expense.

 

We are very selective when we select clients with whom to work.  We want to be certain we will help them get results, not simply spend their money.

 

In 2008 Glen opened Commercials By The Dozen to help radio stations make better radio.  We do this by providing affordable commercial production to radio stations, offering pre-written scripts, custom script writing, consulting and sales training. Commercials By The Dozen maintains a generous stable of ongoing clients and continues to thrive.

 

Glen is also an independent voice-artist who has recorded hundreds of commercials, narrations, e-learning modules, audiobooks, branding and other projects for clients around the world. www.glenpavlovich.com 

 

Glen is proud to be an accomplished audiobook narrator with dozens of titles available for sale worldwide.  Specializing in the romance genre, Glen is constantly adding new titles to his repertoire. He markets to authors, publishers, and consumers at www.romancingglen.com

 

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Our specialty at Pavlovich Marketing is working with small businesses and entrepreneurs.  Big businesses have the resources to create advertising with the intent to win awards with their brands.  Our first and only goal is to create advertising that generates leads and brings potential customers to your door.  For our clients, which are exclusively small businesses and entrepreneurs, we strongly believe this is the right way to spend your precious advertising money.

 

Whether it’s perfecting your message or attracting new clients and customers, Pavlovich Marketing will work with you to identify the trends, target the audiences and craft creative messages to make your business excel.

 

To create advertising that is an investment, contact us today for your Free Consultation + (plus).  Remember, it's the + (plus) you'll like best.

 

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