Questions, questions and more questions. Naturally, the more you ask, the more you can learn about your prospects. While there are many ways you can speed up the sales process, question-based selling (QBS) remains a favorite among many sales teams. Thomas Freese introduced the concept in his book, “Secrets of Question-Based Selling.” According to Freese, achieving success in sales doesn’t come down to making the right pitch, but asking the right questions.

Shawn Finder, founder and CEO of Autoklose, says that QBS is a sales approach that involves asking a series of open-ended questions to gain valuable insight into prospective buyers.

Some of the biggest benefits of QBS include:

• Knowing exactly what your prospects want and need
• Engaging prospects early in the process by slowly building trust with them
• Showing potential buyers that your main goal is to help them

Finder says that successful QBS means not only developing the right questions but tying them to different stages of the sales process. In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share his ideas on how to effectively structure your sales questions to get the best results.

Invite prospects to talk through their goals. It’s important to understand a prospect’s pain points, but Finder says the more you know about their goals, the better. When you can discern their ulterior motives, you can close sales more successfully. To get to the heart of the matter, Finder recommends asking questions like:
• What are your main long-term goals?
• How will solving this problem bring you closer to your overall business objectives?
• What happens when you achieve this goal?
• Are your employees and the entire leadership aware of the importance of this goal? Are all of you on the same page?

The more you can get your prospects to talk about their goals, the easier it becomes for you to make a more specific pitch. It then becomes easier for prospects to understand how your solution can help them achieve their goal.

Discuss potential roadblocks. There’s a good chance your prospects know what challenges they may face when trying to achieve their goals. When you get to the bottom of things and identify the bottleneck, Finder says you provide guidance that isn’t so generic.

The key to selling successfully is knowing your customer. Question-based selling can be a great way to dive deeper into your prospects’ worlds and engage in more meaningful and productive conversations. Remember to use open-ended questions and talk through not only pain points, but their bigger-picture goals and any obstacles that may stand in the way.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Shawn Finder is founder and CEO of Autoklose. He’s also a keynote speaker and advisor.