The Art of Asking Questions
Selling is and always will be a business of understanding people. As such, one of the most important skills you can develop is the art of asking questions. This is especially true now that progressive salespeople have evolved from a talk-and-manipulate attitude to an information- gathering-and-facilitation mentality. Questions are necessary if you want to understand a client’s needs, budget and expectations. But how can you be sure that the questions you ask are effective?
Let’s start with the six most common mistakes I’ve heard sales people make when questioning a client:
Asking a question, but not waiting for the customer to answer fully.
Asking a question, but not listening attentively to the answer; thinking about what you want to say next.
Asking a question that is not important to the sale.
Making a speech rather than asking a question.
Asking a question that is obviously controlling.
Asking a defensive question (in response to perceived rejection).