Would lawyers make great salespeople? Well let’s think about it. Are they good at asking questions? Absolutely. Just watch a good trial lawyer ask the witness some questions. They lead them down the path they want while the opposing lawyer interrupts with “objection, leading the witness!”
In sales, these questions are called positioning questions. Without being manipulative, we want to lead the client down a path that shows them the magnitude of their situation, the potential consequences of their problem so that we can position our solution as the best way to alleviate their challenge.
Positioning questions take you down the path you intend and at the same time they allow the customer to see clearly where they are in relation to their situation. Our responsibility as salespeople is to direct the customer down a path that leads to a decision that improves their environment.
Some examples of positioning questions:
- What happens when………?
- What issues are you having with…….?
- If your system can’t respond in real time, what is the impact on your customers?
These questions lead your prospects to see the impact of their problem in concrete terms.
Combine these questions with questions that lead to agreement and you have a compelling reason for your solution.
- Would you agree this functionality would solve your issue?
- Isn’t the speed of this application just what you’re looking for?
- Wouldn’t you agree…? Is this what you’re looking for? Do you see the benefits of this application?
There are three steps you need to consider as you position your products and services.
First, what are the most common issues your customer’s face that your products and services can solve? From experience, what have you learned about the general needs of your clients? Does every prospect have the same three to five issues? Usually, yes. So, let your prospects know that other customers have experienced the same problems. It will give them peace of mind knowing that you’ve successfully helped others in similar situations.
Second, show them how you’ve solved these issues. Maybe you give a demonstration or walk through a presentation or a case study. Use real life scenarios and stories to support the “how.” How you solve their issues is exactly what they’re looking for. How you’ve helped customers in similar situations gives them clarity and comfort when you can describe the step by step process to ensure success. Prospects and customers want a sure thing. They want to do business with a company that has a track record of success.
Wouldn’t you do the same?
And third, help the customer see the consequences of not acting. The consequences of a “no” decision will have a negative impact on their business. Remember, customers buy to alleviate pain more than they buy for gain. When your customer sees that no action has a negative impact, that saying no is financially worse than making the investment, it will make the decision to move forward clear. You can use case studies of other customers with their tangible results to demonstrate why this prospect should move forward with your solution.
Customers are looking for experts like you to give them sound advice. That’s why the best salespeople are known as trusted advisors.
©2019 Stu Schlackman