Getting More Sales

Ask the right questions.

That’s one of the techniques I mention in Power and Persuasion to get people to see things your way. In How to Become a Rainmaker, Jeffrey J. Fox applies the technique to several typical sales situations. See how many of the following questions you can adapt to your own sales efforts.

Situation #1: Despite making a good sales presentation, the customer remains disengaged. So you ask: “Based on analysis, it looks like you can save $180,000 a year with this solution. Can I assume there are probably a number of things that have to be done before you are completely comfortable with this approach?”

Situation #2: The customer agrees that there are still a number of issues that need to be cleared up before he can make a commitment to buy. So you ask: “Before we get into this in any depth, can I get your agreement on the analysis? Will you look at the facts and decide for yourself if they make sense?”

Situation #3: The customer says he is looking at one of your competitors. So you ask: “Yes, that is a good company. Would you like to know our points of difference?”

Situation #4: The customer asks for a product demonstration. So you ask: “We would be happy to give you a demonstration. If the demo is successful, is there anything else prohibiting you from going ahead?”

Situation #5: You have come to the end of the sales presentation. So you ask: “What question should I be asking that I’m not asking?” Situation #6: The sales presentation is over. It is time to ask for the sale with one last question. So you ask: “Why don’t you give it a try?”

[Ed. Note: Mark Morgan Ford was the creator of Early To Rise. In 2011, Mark retired from ETR and now writes the Palm Beach Letter. His advice, in our opinion, continues to get better and better with every essay, particularly in the controversial ones we have shared today. We encourage you to read everything you can that has been written by Mark.]