It’s a hard truth, but your approach to questioning is probably not influencing your client to buy from you.
Yes, you ask lots of questions. Yes, you find out lots of information.
Have you ever stopped to think why you are asking questions in the first place?
To answer this, it’s time to get out of your own head, and start thinking about things from your client’s perspective.
GET OUT OF YOUR HEAD… AND INTO THE MIND OF YOUR CLIENT.
In order to make a buying decision, your client will follow a 3-step process:
- CHANGE: First they must see a compelling reason to do something different now.
- CHOOSE: Next they must choose a solution that fulfils their need to change.
- CHAMPION: Finally, they must have the confidence and ability to sell the solution on to internal stakeholders.
So, if you want your client to take the first step in the buying process, the goal of your questioning must be to get them sold on why they need to change.
WHY DO CLIENTS DECIDE TO CHANGE?
A client will only decide to change when they are certain of two things:
- First, that they have a personal challenge they need to overcome.
- Second, that their current situation is causing it.
Let’s look at an example to see why.
A client who is frustrated they are not hitting their targets (personal challenge) will only change their computer software if they believe the fault lies in their software system (current situation).
Similarly, a client who experiences issues with their software system (current situation) will only change it if they are missing their targets or it is impacting their productivity (personal challenge). If it is not impacting them enough, they will just put up with it and continue with the status quo.
HOW DO WE ESTABLISH A REASON TO CHANGE?ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS.
We can establish a reason for change by questioning the client around two key areas:
STEP 1: THEIR PERSONAL CHALLENGES.
Ask your client questions around their personal challenges. Make sure these are challenges that you already know you can solve. Open-up the conversation and help them see why overcoming these challenges should be their top priority.
For example, ask:
- What challenges do you face in your role?
- What are your targets? How easy will they be to get to?
STEP 2. HOW THEIR CURRENT APPROACH IS CAUSING THE CHALLENGE.
Then drive a conversation around their current approach and what impact it has.
For example, ask:
- What approaches are you currently using?
- What’s working? What’s not working?
By concentrating your questioning around these two areas your customer will leave the meeting saying, “Yes, I need to change something… NOW!”.
GET THE RIGHT RESULT.
In summary, to achieve the right result from questioning, you need to ask questions for the right reasons. Only then will you get the right answers that will lead to a sale.