Marketing by Asking Questions
When you take a consultant approach to selling you go from being a sales person to someone who is there to help.
Asking questions will:
• Allow you to take control of the conversation and process,
• Focus on the client instead of your product or you,
• Become the expert problem solver, there to help,
• You get the information you need to show how you can solve their problem.
When we have a product to sell, it is easy to think that we have to point out all the advantages of this product in order for the prospect to buy it.
Sadly for you, they aren’t buying your product, they are buying:
• What it can do for them.
• What problem it can solve
• How it can make them feel.
How can you possibly sell your product if you don’t know what the problem is they are trying to solve. The essence of the problem is, how does my product relate to the issues affecting the client, how will it solve their problems and make their lives better. Until you have established that premise, you have no market and no sale.
The questions you ask are vitally important in how your customer perceives you and your ability to solve their problem. The more involved the product, process or service, the more detailed and in depth your questions will need to be. The more thought provoking your questions are, the more you prospects will respect your ability to solve their problems and deliver what they need or want.
When your clients trust you, they will work with you, not against you as they would with a sales person. None of us wants to be sold to, we want to be helped.
Your client doesn’t care if your product, service or advice is the best available. They only care that it will do what they want or solve their problems. Making your solution relevant to their problem is your number one priority. They are focused on their problem and you need to be as well. Asking questions will reinforce 2 things;
• That you are focused on them and their need
• You are the expert that can solve their problem
Asking questions will prove to them that you are capable and able to do both.
When you ask relevant questions, you are given meaningful answers because people respect and trust your abilities. You than have the opportunity to guide the sales process and show how your solution will solve their problem.
By guiding the prospect through the process you will get to show them how relevant your solution is and it will be valued more because they have been part of the solution, it wasn’t just sold to them.
Asking Powerful Questions
The more powerful and relevant your questions are, the more you will be respected and trusted as a solution provider. For your questions to be powerful, you will need to do your homework and preparation is essential. Here are some sample questions that could be used in a business to business marketing situation, to prompt you to come up with questions that will apply to your industry. Pick out the ones that suit your market and tailor them for your specific client each time you do a consultation or presentation.
Remember, good questions are what separate you from the other suppliers.
• Can you give me an overview of your business?
• What are your main products?
• What is your main marketing emphasis?
• Who is your ideal customer?
• Who is your typical customer?
• Who is your preferred customer?
• What is your business’s Unique Selling Proposition (USP)?
• What is your product or services USP?
• What is the main benefit?
• What problem does it solve?
• Who are your main competitors?
• How does your typical customer use your product?
• How does the typical customer perceive your product?
• What are your customers objectives?
• What are your customers pain point?
• What is the value of a sale?
• What is the lifetime value of a customer?
Remember to ask questions general questions and then drill down to more targeted questions based on the objective the client identifies.
By asking and involving them, you are treating them as an important part of the solution and they will be much more receptive to the result. They have some ownership of the result.