How you ask a question will make a big difference in how it is answered, and the impact that has on your ability to move the process forward, get stuck, or even lose deals. There are some basic communication rules and practices, that when leveraged right can make a big difference.
Most people in sales see themselves as forward looking, bright positive people, after all, we make a living helping people, right?! This bias has a direct influence our assessment of situations, as well as how we act on those assessments. The assessment, especially early stages in the buy/sell process, during the lead, prospecting and early Discovery stage; the phases of the sales where sellers like to talk about, and do a lot of ‘qualifying’. But there is a bit of a Catch 22 when it comes to qualifying. While most will not argue that qualifying is a good idea, when you observe how it unfolds in the real world, it often leads to the wrong outcomes.
OK … so you have just been hired either as a business developer/lead generator or a sales person for a new company. You are excited. Now what? What are your next steps in finding qualified leads?1. Find out what kind of companies should buy from us & why
A company that does buy is different that company that should buy. Be a snob! Realize quickly that what you offer will be perceived very differently by a broad audience – some will view you as a strategic solution while others will view you as flogging a ‘nice to have’ or a commodity. All audiences are out there.
Earlier this month I wrote a post on the Blog version of The Pipeline, titled “Questioning The Path You Are On”, which looked at a way to change the direction of a cold call before it hit its inevitable conclusion of no engagement. I looked at how Impact Questions, a form of closed ended questions, can help change the direction and outcome of a call. As highlighted at the end of the piece, here we want to look at two specific ways to leverage Impact Questions in the face of objections.
Feel like you’re drowning in email? Like it’s a never-ending issue too? Most of us are—yet we have to keep checking because it’s our primary way to communicate with our prospects and customers.
But our inboxes are also filled with clutter. You make an online purchase and next thing you know you’re getting tons of promo emails. You donate money to a good cause and now hear from them weekly. You download an ebook and get added to that company’s list. Plus, we get spammed to death.
I remember when the first Unplugged wave came up in music. Bands and singers were made to ply their craft or art, all without the aid of technology, automation, sequencing, sampling lip-synching or any of those things that required a socket and cord to work. You quick found out who can play, sing and perform music, and just plain couldn’t, to borrow a phrase “Who was a musician and who was just a star.”