Selling Questions

Duct Tape SellingWhen creating the agendas for our meetings my inspiration usually comes from something I’m reading or suggestions from members. Last week, my inspiration came from an advanced copy of “Duct Tape Selling” by John Jantsch. Even though I am still in the early stages of the book, I’m excited about the ideas that I can share with you in future agendas.

Just like with marketing, you can do a better job selling if you know WHY your clients are buying from you. As sales people we often make the sale then we move on to the next one. There might be some follow up work on your part or you hand the client off to the appropriate member of your team, but then you are on to the next sale. When you clearly understand why your clients are buying from you, you can work to consistently include those ideas into your sales processes. 

The following questions are from John’s upcoming book, Duct Tape Selling. These questions can be asked in a survey form to every new client or you might want to save them for your ideal clients. The answers might be what you expected or you might hear things that surprise you.

  • Why did you buy from me in the first place? People buy for many reasons, such as price, product or perhaps a strong referral. If you find everyone is buying for price but you don’t want to be known as the lowest price, make some adjustments in your presentation. Pay attention to how you built trust with your clients from their perspective and bring that to the forefront of your sales system.
  • What is one thing I do in the sales process that you love the most? Maybe you have a wonderful proposal, maybe you taught a class and they saw your expertise, or maybe your attention to detail impressed them. When you begin to hear similar responses, you’ll know what you want to keep doing in your sales process.   
  • What is one thing that our organization does that others don’t? As a sales person you should always pay attention to the offerings of your competition. One way to confirm this is to ask your clients. Take their responses and include them in your website, in your sales presentation and everywhere you go. When people understand why you are different from the competition, it turns them into clients much faster.
  • If you were to refer me to a friend or colleague, what would you say? Their answer could be an opportunity for a testimonial or it may be an opportunity for you to help them better understand what you do. When you listen to their responses, you may discover great copy for future sales pieces you create!
  • Can you tell me about three other companies that you love? Personally, I think this is a great question. When we tried this exercise in some of our meetings, most people had a difficult time coming up with three, yet when they did come up with an organization, it gave clarity to their personality. For example, one member talked about Starbucks and Facebook as being two companies he likes. As he explained what he liked about these companies, it was clear that he likes people who think “outside of the box” and he likes companies that take care of their employees. When you ask this question, don’t just get the name of the company but find out what they love about the company and why.
  • If they were to “google” your industry, what phrase would they search for? This doesn’t mean typing in your name or your company name, but the phrase they would use to find you. Create a list from their responses. This will be helpful as you work on your company’s SEO (search engine optimization).

As you go through this exercise, take the responses and use them in your messaging. You’ll begin to see a transformation in the way you position your company and how you help your clients. The result from the new messaging will be an increase in attracting and closing your ideal clients.