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#1 HOW TO MOTIVATE A CUSTOMER TO ACT

People take action because of consequences they perceive, either real or imagined.  It’s that simple.  Your customers are no different.  If you have a customer that has not taken any action after numerous sales calls and there is no real “true concern” about using your product or service, you will need to increase your customer’s awareness of the need to act and act now!

There are only two ways to increase a customer’s awareness of the need to act and act now:

  • You either tell them the value of using your product or service and the problems they will either continue to experience or experience in the future by not using your product or service.
  • Or, you have them tell you the value of using your product or service and the problems they will either continue to experience or experience in the future by not using your product or service.

That’s it.  There is no other way.

If you have a customer who is not taking any action, especially after numerous sales calls, without saying a word they are telling you they are not seeing the need to act as much as you are seeing the need to act. So you need to help them see the need to act and act now.  Again, there are only two ways to do this: you can tell them, or you can get them to tell you.

At this point telling them the value and the problems is not working!  You now need to get them to realize the value and problems for themselves.

Typically, salespeople have a tendency to bullet or list the features and benefits of their product or service to the customer and do not give the customer much more than a moment to mentally process or think about what their product or service will do for them, their company, and even their customers.

Every decision you and your customers make carry consequences both positive and negative.   You now need to have the customer stop and think about making a decision to use your product or service.

Using very targeted questions, questions that increase the customer’s awareness of the need to act, is often much more effective. These are often referred to as Increase Awareness questions.

The easiest way to do this is by:

  1. First listing all the positive consequences (benefits) of using your product or service.
  2. After that you then turn those statements (the ones you’ve been making) or bullet points into questions.  (E.g., increased safety becomes ‘what value would it be to you if you could improve on safety?’  Or improved efficiency becomes ‘what would improved efficiency mean to you and your company?’)
  3. Next, list all the negative consequences (problems) the customer will experience if they do not use your product or service.
  4. Then turn those statements or bullet points into questions.  (E.g., less safe becomes ‘what problems will persist by using a less safe product?’  Or less efficient becomes ‘what would it cost your company to use a less efficient process?’)

Remember, people take action because of consequences they perceive, either real or imagined.  It’s that simple.  If the customer is not acting on your recommendation, use Increase Awareness questions to motivate the customer to act and act now!

What has been your experience using telling versus asking? Please comment below.

Copyright 2012  J.P. Thompson. All rights reserved.

Ascent Selling Technologies, LLC

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