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Sell More by Composing Compelling Questions

Second review of "The Sales Bible"

June 23, 2005


Read: Sales Commandments
Previous review of The Sales Bible

photo of Paula Parisot
Paula Parisot

review and buy The Sales Bible

Awareness of "buying signals" may be key in developing a successful sales career, according to one sales training book. These signals often appear in the form of questions, signaling a customer's interest in what is being offered, the book explained.

Questions about availability, prices, features and options are just a few examples of "buying signals" Jeffrey Gitomer, motivational speaker, sales trainer and author, gives in his book, The Sales Bible. The ability to recognize those signals could strengthen sales skills and result in increased sales.

Asking for references, company information, or wanting something repeated are all ways of conveying the customer's interest in buying, Gitomer explained. And how the questions are answered is just as important as recognizing the signals.

"When a prospect asks me a 'yes' or 'no' question, I never answer 'yes' or 'no'," the sales guru said. "When a prospect asks me any question, I try to answer in the form of a question -- or ask a question at the end of my answer."

He added that this puts the salesperson in control of the meeting and leads to the possibility of closing the sale.

For the loan originator an example of this method could play out like this. "Could we close in about three weeks?" the borrower asks. Avoid yes or no. And instead of answering, "We can usually close within 3 or 4 weeks," a better answer would be the question, "Do you want to close in three weeks?" A positive response could then be followed up with a confirmation of "when is the best time to have the appraiser come out?" (This would also open up dialogue that addresses any concerns the customer might have regarding the timing of the closing and head off any objections they have down the road.)

Gitomer said the secret to mastering the "perfect question formation and delivery" is to practice using the three steps of the "magic process." The first step is to recognize the buying signals and the second is the ability to create an immediate response question. Regarding step number three Gitomer said, "Delivering the response soft and smooth is the mark of the master professional salesperson," adding, "And usually the one who makes the sale."

Paula Parisot is a MortgageDaily.com feature reporter and a blogger at CloserBlog.com who has also worked in the mortgage industry.

Email Paula at: [email protected]

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