Salespeople tend to talk too much about themselves. It’s time to ask more questions.
In a headlong rush to fill the pipeline and accelerate the sales process, too many salespeople skip the step of asking questions. But questions are imperative to understand a buyer’s needs and the needs of the organization at large. Instead, salespeople opt to charge right into the pitch. There is little or no context to inform or personalize that pitch.
Today’s world is high-tech and high-touch. We can send out so much messaging about what our company does. It can seem downright old-fashioned to slow down and have an actual two-way conversation with a buyer.
In his latest post, sales blogger and author David Brock discusses this problem via what he calls the “Ask/Tell” Ratio:
“As a salesperson, a high Ask/Tell ratio probably indicates you are engaging your customer in conversations about them and their business. Through your questions and discovery, you are helping them learn, helping them explore, helping them question what they are doing and whether they might change. Most of all, you are helping them think about their goals, their business, and what they want to achieve.”
The fact of the matter is, buying groups are larger (5.4 people large on average, by CEB’s last count) and more functionally diverse. The need to ask more questions right from the outset has never been more critical to your sales success. You need to ask questions to identify your mobilizer within the buying group. You need to ask the mobilizer endless questions to identify and understand the needs of the other members of the buying group. You need to ask even more questions to know where your mobilizer is strong and where they need your coaching and guidance in forming a solid plan of attack.
Yes, to reach a consensus sale in these more complicated times, salespeople need to be telling their buyers far less and asking far more. So hold off on that pitch for just a second and schedule a call with your prospect where you will ask more questions and then listen and take notes.
You might just find the buyer listening more intently when it comes time for your pitch.
To learn how Consensus helps sales understand large buying groups and move them toward consensus, click on the orange “Watch Demo” button below.