Success in sales doesn't come from selling. Instead, it comes from a genuine desire to fulfill the needs of your customers. Integrity and transparency allow a relationship to be created that turns a transaction into an experience. There are 4 simple questions anyone selling anything in any industry can use to ensure a relationship is created, needs are discovered, and quality sales leads are generated quickly and easily. Your organization's sales will immediately begin to increase if your sales team consistently asks these 4 questions: Who? What? How? Have?
WHO is the product or service for? This question not only breaks the ice, but it also tells you who the subject of the rest of your conversation is going to be about. Whether it’s a man in a jewelry store buying a ring for his soon-to-be fiancé, a parent interested in signing their intrigued student for music lessons, or even a large company in search of a supplier for their specific resources…You won't know the who until you ask, and you can't sell effectively until you know who you are selling for. That's right…selling FOR, not selling TO. You're on their side. The goal is to identify their needs and sell your product or service FOR their benefit.
WHAT will the customer or end user be using the product for? What is their end goal? This question gives the transaction purpose. It also allows you to evaluate their overall commitment to the purchase as well as potential budget range without asking them how much they want to spend. Maybe they are interested in golf clubs and only play a few times a year. If so, you wouldn't begin with trying to sell them a $3,000 set more geared for a professional. You would start with something that more adequately meets their needs without scaring them off. Maybe they have an 18 year old saxophone student who wants to go on and play in college and compete professionally. Then you know that quality and durability is more of a concern than cost. Maybe it's a B2B sales experience where the client needs both quantity and quality at the most reasonable cost. Whatever the circumstances the What?, or end game, help you narrow your scope and begin to focus on their specific needs.
HOW are they enjoying using the similar product they already have? How did they discover they wanted to go on this new adventure? How did they come about wanting to potentially purchase your product or service? This question can take on many forms. How much do you enjoy playing golf? If they absolutely love the game and want to improve, you know they will be willing to spend a little more on clubs. How is your student enjoying playing saxophone? How has your experience with your current service provider been? How do you plan to propose to your new fiancé? The tone of voice that comes along with the answers to this question usually falls into two categories; excitement or meh. If they are excited about what they are pursuing, you'll definitely be able to tell. If they haven't been satisfied with their experiences, you'll pick up on that as well. This sets you up for the final of the 4 questions.
HAVE you thought about investing in better equipment? Have you considered this type of product or service, etc. This question helps you gauge how difficult it may be to get the sale across the finish line as well as how invested the customer may or may not already be in the buying process. They might tell you they have already been considering a purchase. If they have, then your asking is going to validate to the customer what they have already been considering; that this might be a worthwhile purchase. They might not even be aware of the potential benefits of the product or service you are offering. If that's the case, this is where product knowledge and creating value in your product for the customer comes into play. In either case, you now know which direction the conversation is headed; towards a sale or towards the door.
These 4 questions stimulate conversation and get the customer to open up in a very genuine and natural way. While on the surface this appears to be nothing more than a pleasant exchange between you and the customer, you’re gathering all the information you need along the way to uncover the customer's needs and select a product or service to fulfill those needs.
Using these 4 questions consistently to sell from a genuine place of integrity and transparency makes the customer comfortable, provides salespeople with crucial information, and allows sales to be made in such a way that promotes relationship building, repeat business, and an increase in sales overall. Consistency is key. 4 questions. Every conversation. You'll see the results. Prove me wrong.