Sales: Why Is It More Important to Ask Than to Tell

Since I started my career in sales, I have learned a lot of strategies and techniques about selling from various sources. I have learned from books, audio recordings, videos, and live training events of local and international trainers. I could enumerate a hundred techniques that I have learned and applied throughout my sales career. There are too many of them but they cannot be applied in all selling situations. However, there is one basic technique that I believe to be very applicable at all times. The most basic yet the most effective one is asking questions

After hundreds of client encounters, I have proven that asking the clients questions rather than just giving them the information about the product or service we offer has the following benefits:

  1. Clients feel that they are valued. It is usual for people to feel cared for when they are asked what they feel or what they think rather than being told what they should feel or think. This is the same in any selling situation. When the salesperson goes on talking about the product or service they offer without really knowing if the prospective clients want it, the latter tends to feel that the salesperson’s main concern is just to sell. On the other hand, when a salesperson asks prospective clients questions regarding their needs and wants concerning the solutions to their problems, the clients will more likely appreciate them. They would feel that the main concern of the salesperson is meeting their needs. When clients feel that they are valued and that the salesperson they are dealing with is not just after the sales, wouldn’t they consider availing the product or service even more? It could even lead to a more meaningful and lasting client relationship.
  2. Salespeople are able to identify the objections of the client. Many buyers base their decisions on information they get about the product or service. When they hear one thing that does not fit their standard, they might reject the product or service altogether even if the benefits outweigh the negative factor. Therefore, it is important to ask questions that would allow you to know what tips them off about the offer. Once you know what it is, you will be able to handle the objection and have the chance to close the sale. 
  3. Salespeople are able to lead the clients to what they need. Assuming to know what clients need is the biggest mistake a salesperson can make. There are times when clients do not know what they are looking for but the only way to help them know what they need is to ask them questions. Proper assessment is the key. Once you are able to assess them, you will be able to provide the best offer. Clients want to work with somebody who knows how to lead them. 
  4. Transactions become more efficient. When a salesperson just drops all the information about the product or service they offer, they are wasting more time than necessary. What if you offer 10 different kinds of products? Would you discuss the specific details of each product to the prospective buyer without even knowing the specifics of what they are looking for? Most clients do not care about all the information there is about what you offer. They just want to know if such a product or service has the features they need or want. Therefore, asking what they need or want is the best way to get the job done efficiently.  

With all the sales strategies and techniques, I learned and mastered, asking the right questions surely became the most basic skill that helped me help clients get what they need or want. It is a basic skill that I always incorporate in all the strategies I used and now teach other salespeople during my training sessions. Do you find these helpful? 



(Photo by Olya Kobruseva from Pexels)

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