WHY AVOID QUESTIONS THEY CAN SAY NO TO?
I’ve been in sales for over 50 years now. And in my early days, that’s all I was ever taught . . . never ask a question they can say “No” to. However, as my selling improved and I began to mix in higher end selling circles, I began to learn the opposite was true.
What I learned from these highly paid sales professionals was that if we don’t give the prospect an opportunity to verbally express resistance, it could suggest that resistance doesn’t exist. That’s simply not true. What you are doing here is dismissing anything that you are not prepared to present on. And that is highly dangerous. Allow me to explain.
If you don’t give the prospect a chance to suggest that they may disagree on an issue, it could fester, then ultimately appear at the end of a conversation as an objection that skittles the sale. By this time it’ll be harder to deal with.
A “No” at any time is not a rejection of your product or service by the prospect, but simply a way of informing that what you are suggesting on this one point is not acceptable. A simple, “Why have you said no to … ? is generally all it may need to understand the prospect’s reasoning behind the “No” so that you can both work together on a solution.
The “Yes” only process won’t allow that type of issue to surface unless the prospect volunteers it – and that is less likely to occur as you move further into the presentation.
The professionals I know use “trial closing” questions as “temperature testers” to expose either a “Yes” or “No” answer between the presentation points. The strategy behind this is to close off the transition areas of the presentation with full agreement between the buyer and seller.
I would purposely ask a question to get a “No” from time to time if I feel that I am not communicating as well as I would like, or I feel that the prospect has ceased listening but going through the motions out of courtesy. Once, I felt I was in control again, I would then pick up from where I left off and proceed with the selling process they way I had prepared and rehearsed it.
Another way of handling the “No” would be to immediately ask for them one of the following questions after they had explained to you why they answered with a “No”:
“Do you feel this would solve your current problem?”
“Would that option be of value to you?”
“How would that work for you?”
Perhaps in future you too won’t subscribe to one of those old-school sales myths that has somehow passed through the generations and is still being used today.
Remember, top professional sellers don’t subscribe to the, “Never ask a question the person can answer ‘no’ to” theory. You shouldn’t either.
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This Article is by Peter Collins – In a sales career spanning more than 53 years, Peter Collins has focused on helping and bringing out the best in others – whether it involves training or mentoring salespeople, managers, business consulting to SME’s. Since the 1970’s Peter has built a reputation as a Nationally and Internationally Published author, and has 68 business books to his credit, but he is mainly known for one book based on the Audio Tape series of the same name, Over 50 Ways of Closing the Sale. Peter had his first book published in 1969 and now has over 133 books in all, including Business, Marketing, Sales, Free Publicity, Body Language, Music and over 30 Christian books to date. Peters books have sold over 2.5 Million copies over 48 years. In his personal life, Peter has been sought after as an encourager and motivator that has given of his time and talents freely despite his busy schedule. Subsequently, he has assisted churches, pastors, community and charity groups, as well as individuals through his teaching, training, development and on-going mentoring.
© Copyright Peter Collins, Profit Maker Sales, Sydney, Australia, 1994, 2002, 2007, 2011, 2015, 2017, all rights reserved. Peter can be contacted through his website – profitmakersales.com
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