Here’s a Question That Can Be Cheesy or Good, Depending On…

in Questioning


Here’s a technique that can be either solid,  or sound cheesy, depending upon where it’s used on a call:
 
“What’s it going to take to get your business?”
 
I had a guy use this on me the other day. This  was the opening statement on a cold call.
 
Caller: "Hey, Art. Bill at Audio Duplicators. We  duplicate CD’s and DVD’s. I’m wondering what it would take to get your business?"
 
I felt like saying, "A better salesperson," but I was just a bit more tactful in saying "I’m not interested," which he didn’t question.



Of course, using this early begs all kinds of comments and questions from prospects and  customers, some spoken, some not. Some  logical, some smart-alecky. All justified. For  example,
 
"Why should I even consider answering the question?"
 
"Who ARE you?"
 
"If you gave it to me for free, maybe."
 
"I’m satisfied with the company I’m using."
 
The problem with this question, used early, is that it is much too early, and no value whatsoever  has been even hinted at yet. I had no reason to stay on the phone with him, and he is asking ME to explain how I would give him my business! Come on.
 
WHEN IT’S OK
Let’s fast forward in a call … one where there’s a good opening, nice qualifying and need-development questions, a strong presentation, perhaps an attempt to close, and the prospect hems and haws with, "I’m just not sure."
 
Then, this would make more sense.

"Pat, we seem to be in agreement that this is what you’re looking for, and the price is within your budget.  What is it going to take for us to move forward?"
 
OTHER DECISION-MAKING CRITERIA QUESTIONS
Here are questions I like to ask in the probing stage. Especially when you are competing with someone else for a piece of business.
 
“How, specifically, will you make your decision?”
 
“What decision-making criteria will you use, and which areas will be most important to you?”
 
"If we are at the top in all of those areas, will we be the one you choose?"
 
"If you made a decision today, where would we stand?"
 

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Bob burg December 5, 2009 at 11:28 am

What a terrific article! Great point in that it isn’t “just” the words that are used (though, the wording is absolutely important, and was much better in the examples you provided than what the “salesperson” used), but the context, as well. As you alluded, once that “know, like and trust” aspect is there, then the question is much more likely to be received in a manner beneficial both to the prospect and salesperson.

Bravo, Art…I ALWAYS appreciate your great advice.

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