How your sales questions can be your superpower

How your sales questions can be your superpower

I get asked this question often –  ‘How can I be more effective in my sales conversations?’

There are a few very effective ways to increase your conversions and one simple and powerful way is to improve your questions.

Interestingly:

  • Some people don’t realise they’re asking ineffective or even detrimental questions
  • Most don’t understand that asking questions isn’t just about getting answers or steering a sales conversation, it’s also importantly about building trust

Below, I’ve shared the transcript of a section of my LinkedIn Learning Course (free for Premium members), that covers this topic in more detail:

“Did you know that you can get a competitive advantage just by asking the right types of questions?

 

But most professionals ask the same types of questions when they’re having sales conversations. So for example, if you are looking for accounting services and you met with five potential accountants, and if those accountants asked the same types of questions, it’s hard to stand out.

 

You can do so much better than your competitors by asking insightful questions that make your prospects think and feel such things like, “Wow, no one’s ever asked us that before.”

 

And there’s two types of questions we can ask when having sales conversations: transactional questions and tactical questions.

 

Transactional questions relate to the service or the product being offered. They’re the things like, “What do I get? How much does it cost? Is it red or blue? Is it 10 or $15,000? And where do I get it?” Transactional questions don’t build trust. They give the impression that we’re just there to take information from someone and not give them anything in return.

 

Now, referring back to our trust equation from our previous lesson, which is credibility plus reliability plus intimacy divided by self-orientation, transactional questions can be received as being self-oriented towards you and not at all helpful towards your prospect.

 

In addition, if you recall, people are more likely to buy from people they trust. So if we’re asking only transactional questions, we are not setting ourselves up for success.

 

Tactical questions on the other hand, make all the difference.

 

These are thought provoking open-style questions that provide a safe platform for your prospect to share what’s important to them.

 

And in turn, this allows us to find things in common. Whether these are personal or professional things, they make us feel more connected to each other.

 

Now, if your competitors are only asking those superficial transactional questions and you are asking the tactical questions, it allows you to stand out. It elevates your level of professionalism and skill, and importantly, it shows that you care.

 

Now let me give you some examples of transactional questions that relate to selling accounting services. (Replace ‘accounting’ with YOUR industry)

  • Who was your last accountant?
  • What work do you want your accountant to do? How much are you looking to pay an accountant?
  • When do you want to change?
  • How much is your tax bill each year?

 

Now what you can see and then feel, these questions don’t leave much room to share what’s important.

Now, let me show you some tactical questions.

  • Tell me the reason you’re looking for a new accountant?
  • If we were to work together, how could we ensure that our partnership is successful?
  • What part do you see an accountant playing in your business?

 

Can you see the difference between these two types of questions? So, by asking tactical questions instead of transactional questions, we are far more likely to build genuine trust and then you’ll have a competitive advantage.”

 

You can check out the course for free (as a Premium member) here.