Selling Technique - Open Ended Probing Questions

Selling Technique: Open Ended Probing Questions

How to get your prospect engaged into the sales process.


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Selling Techniques Ė Open Ended Probing Questions

© 2007 David Peterson

You will not get anywhere in sales if you canít find out what your prospects needs and how you can turn those needs into sales.

Regardless of if you are working with an MLM prospect that is trying to fill a business opportunity need or if you are answering an RFI (Request for Information) that someone has filled out on your product pages you have to ask probing questions if you want to succeed in sales.

Probing questions are the mechanism that gets your prospect talking to you about their needs. Probing questions gets the conversation flowing. They are always open ended questions that are used to find out if a need actually exist for your product for this particular prospect.

NEWSFLASH Ė Not everyone needs your product!

Not every prospect needs your product but I can just about guarantee that a lot of prospects do need the product you are offering!

Your job after your opening statement is to ask a series of questions that can quickly get your prospect involved in the sales process.

Your job is to get the prospect talking.

How do you know if you have a HOT prospect? It really boils down to who is doing the talking. If you find that the prospect is doing all of the talking then you have a hot lead. If you find yourself doing all of the talking then you are in trouble.

Please re-read the last paragraph. If you cannot get the prospect engaged into answering open ended questions then you will not get them engaged into the sales process.

The sales process is the ability to move someone from a suspect to a prospect, and ultimately to a customer. The sales process is open, probe, pitch, and close.

So what is an open ended question? An open ended question is a question that does not take a yes or a no to answer. It is one that requires the prospect to elaborate on their answers.

Asking open ended questions takes practice. You will not get a good question and answering session on every call. Some people just donít want to talk to you.

Donít take it personal!

The best way to get a person engaged in the sales process is to keep two things in mind on every call.

#1 People like to talk about themselves.

#2 People like to talk about their business.

Letís face it we are all human. We have a strong desire to tell the person next to us what we do well. That is why we talk about ourselves and our business.

Give it a shot on your next call. Read these next two statements, which one do you think will get the prospect speaking to you?

A. Our product has a five year guarantee and rarely if ever gets returned. On top of that we have a 50% affiliate payout and have paid out over $250,000 last month alone. Do you have a website up and running that could promote this product today? Do you think that you have the web traffic that could bring about multiple sales?

B. I see in the request for information that you filled out that you have a website already up and running. Can you tell me how you came about to setup that website and why do you think that website would be a good fit for our product?

The second statement above is designed to get the prospect speaking to you about his or her website and about why they put the website up in the first place.

There are no offers or closing statements in the 2nd example.

You have to get your prospect talking to you before you can pitch. You have to get your prospect engaged in a conversation before you can decide if you will be moving this person to the next step.

It is your job to decide if this prospect deserves your attention and your time to move them to the next step. Find out all you can about the prospect before trying to turn them into a customer.

Why not try to pitch to everyone? Why not try to close everyone?

This is very simple: If you sell to someone that doesnít need you product it will be returned! If you donít follow the sales process of open, probe, pitch, and then close you will find yourself wasting your own time and your own money working with suspects Ė not prospects.

Not everyone needs your product. Use open ended questions designed to get your prospects engaged into the sales process. Once you get them engaged then you can make the decision if it warrants taking that prospect to the next step.


David Peterson

David Peterson

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