Tuesday, 2 January 2007

Ask A Great Question, Get A Great Answer!



There are three things to focus on when putting questions to a PB…..

1. Buyer comfort.
2. How to phrase each question.
3. When to ask it!

In order to retain maximum buyer comfort you must always ensure that you ask "open" questions first of all. The buyer gets used to talking (and you get used to listening!). Open questions usually start with Who, What, Where, When, Why and How.

For example;"What prompted you to call us in at this time?""How can I help?"

This type of questioning settles the buyer and this is vital in the early stages of the meeting. It also lets the seller relax a little and makes it easier to keep talking in the right ratio, the Pareto Principle,which should always be 80% buyer / 20% seller. It's early "buyer comfort" we're aiming for and open questions are the easiest and most straightforward of ways to achieve this.

Secondly, we need to be aware of the different ways in which we can ask the same question. If you ask "Why exactly do you want to change your windows?" you'll more than likely get a response such as "Well, we're just getting quotes at the moment".

The question implies "order" and may well make the buyer nervous. You, the seller, have raised a barrier here. A much gentler way would be "What started you thinking about changing your windows?" This question will produce the answer you want without raising any barriers.

The third thing we need to give attention to is WHEN we ask the question. In general terms, the meeting should flow as a natural conversation. Top sellers know what they need to ask, but wait for precisely the right moment, every time.

If the meeting sounds like a pleasant conversation, the buyer will freely answer the questions. Keep him comfortable at all stages, but especially early on. If you don't work to achieve this, it may well rebound on you later - attempts to close the business will fall on deaf ears.

Questions are a seller's best friend.

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