In our previous article we defined selling as the process that brings about a desired change in the behavior of prospects using needs-based techniques. We said selling includes both objective facts and subjective impressions; consequently, prospects will do business with someone they like. How the prospect feels about the message they receive from us plays a part in the sales process. This includes, but is not limited to, our verbal and non-verbal communication and how prospects perceive our message.
However, in doing so, prospects do something that many salespeople view as an obstacle to salesthey object. Many salespeople tend to falter when they receive an objection because they have a lack of understand of what an objection actually means. We talked in our last article about the four basic objections:
- No money
- No need
- No hurry
- No confidence
We also reviewed the fact that these four basic objections will come in two types, emotional and logical objections, and that these objections come in two basic forms, broad objections and specific objections.
You must bring a broad objection down to a specific objection in order to address the underlying buying motive and close the sale. You do this through asking effective questions. To understand what effective questions are it is important to know the difference between statements, questions and objections.
Statements, questions and objections
What Your Peers Are Reading
Statement: Reporting of a fact or opinion
Question: A statement that attempts to gain information
Objection: A statement based on fact or feeling of disapproval
Statements report, questions gather and objections disclose.
- “I don’t like it.”
- “I won’t buy it because I don’t like the deductible.”
- “Insurance companies don’t pay their claims.”
Effective questioning techniques provide the sales professional with the framework for obtaining important information from the prospect.
There are three types of questions that are the most effective to ask:
What is a broad question?
- Cannot be answered yes or no.
- The question gathers general information.
- You generally do not know the answer.
What is a specific question?
- The question may or may not be answered yes or no.
- The question gathers specific information.
- You may or may not know the answer.
What is a narrow question?
- The question will be answered yes or no.
- The question surfaces a need.
- You know the answer before you ask the question.
Two forms of questions
- High trust question
- Low trust question
High trust questions
Imagine you’re walking through the mall, you walk up to a lady you don’t know and say, “How much do you weigh?”
What reaction do you think you would get. Yet we do this with prospects every day.