Asking Good Sales Questions

11 February 2014 by Charles Howden

Why can’t your transactional sellers ask good sales questions?

If asking (the right kind of) questions is at the centre of successful selling, why can’t your top performing transactional sellers, do this? What stops them from asking the insightful questions that your consultative sellers naturally do?

Here are my three reason, and please feel free to add your own.

1) They can’t handle the complexity that developing their prospect’s needs, will inevitably surface. Their world is very black and white “are you going to buy this or not?” usually based around judgments of “good” they bought it, or “bad” they didn’t, with little sense that their prospect may have different needs to fill, taking decisions based on a complex frame of reference.

2) They’re not particularly interested in the answers, being very centred in themselves and their own “stuff”. Transactional sellers tend not to be curious about how things look from other people’s perspectives, so why should they ask? What does it matter anyway?

3) They have too much to say (their own world is about them) and do not want a sales prospect to start talking and interrupt their flow, because “selling is all about pitching isn’t it!” And interrupts their ABC (“Always Be Closing”) flow. “Shut up and let me tell you why you should buy this!” Yeouch

What makes a transactional seller effective (in achieving the sales, not building a relationships) is precisely the fact that they don’t see the complexity, they’re not empathetic, they just go in for the kill, irrespective of how their prospect might feel.

If this fits your sales model, then great, however, if you need to adopt a more consultative approach, don’t expect your transactional sellers to deliver this for you. If you need good consultative sellers, you’re better off recruiting them from scratch.

Making the two sales approaches, transactional versus consultative, work side by side will be your next challenge…

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