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Mistake 5: Nonexistent Or Inadequate Questioning

If a doctor writes a prescription without proper diagnosis, it could be grounds for malpractice if the recommendation is faulty. When salespeople suggest treatment without diagnosis (which happens all the time) there’s not the legal mechanism in place for malpractice (al-though it might not be a bad idea). What does happen, though, is usually disastrous for the caller: He loses credibility in the listener’s mind, since the caller foolishly rambles on about what he/she wants to sell, not what the listener might be interested in buying. Therefore the prospect/customer channels energy into thinking of reasons why he should get the caller off the phone, instead of participating in a meaningful conversation. Ultimately, prospects and customers bring up objections as a result of poor questioning (see also reason Number 3), and lousy listening (Number 7).

Action Step: Map out your questioning strategy before your call. Instead of having a list of features and benefits you’re intent on presenting, take all of your benefits and write them, one beneath another, down the left-hand side of a piece of paper. Then draw two columns down the page to the right of the words. Label the first column “Needs Filled/Problems Solved.” Then for each benefit write out what need or problem the corresponding benefit satisfies. Label the right-hand column “Questions to Ask.” For each need or problem write a question that would determine whether that situation existed. Use these questions during your call.

For example, let’s say a business offered overnight delivery on orders received by 5:00 P.M.., while all the other competitors cut off their ordering time at 12:00 noon for next day-delivery. The “Needs Filled/Problems Solved” would be the prospect often has last minute orders they require the next day, and their existing vendor isn’t able to meet those requests, therefore it causes inconveniences, and maybe even lost business. Only in these situations would the overnight delivery be a main buying motivator. Otherwise it might be a “nice to know” feature that the prospect might be able to take advantage of in the future if he needed it, or worse, the prospect might think, “I never get in a situation where I need something that quickly. I don’t care about that feature at all. Maybe that’s why their price is higher.” (See how presenting what you think is a benefit could actually create an objection?)

Make sure you don’t present what you “think” is a benefit until you’ve confirmed it by asking the corresponding questions. Here are some examples:

“How quickly do you normally need delivery?”

Special Report: The Top 10 Mistakes Made By Salespeople When Using The Phone, And What You Can Do To Avoid These Errors

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