Gaby Awad - “Buying Customers”
Episode: Engagement by asking the right questions in sales
My name is Gaby Awad AKA The Coach on Wheels (you have to watch my YouTube channel to know why 😉), and I am your host for the BUYING CUSTOMERS radio show 🔥🔥🔥
It would be awesome if I could hear from you in real time during the show. If you’re listening live or to one of the recordings, you can always connect and interact with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter at IBGRNetwork.
By the end of our time together you will...
Engage ME and you can make ME convince MYSELF… This is a powerful statement. Think about it.
Your best weapon is ASKING QUESTIONS
BEING PREPARED IS:
Going to their website and printing out several pages, reading them and making notes so that you can ask about what you don’t understand or need elaboration on AND NOT TO ASK FROM TOTAL IGNORANCE…
THE BEST WAYS TO FIND INFORMATION and BEING PREPARED are:
The Internet: their website and google. You are looking at articles and other important information… Enter the name of the person you are meeting with, the CEO, etc.
Their Literature: it tells you what they think about themselves and their products / services
Their Vendors: they can tell you how to do business with them and how you are going to get paid
Their Competition: it will tell you how to negotiate with them. The more competition hates them, the better they usually are.
Their Customers: they talk and they give you hints about delivery, organization ,quality and insightful competitive advantage
People in Your Network: who may know them. A quick email to your network asking for information
Their other Employees: administration, marketing, sales, department
Google yourself: look up your own name… Suppose they are looking you up. What will they find? If it’s nothing…well!
But before we dig deeper into the power of asking questions let’s step back and think of the new role of the sales person. Since people hate to be sold but they like to buy, in this case the new role of the salesperson is to PROFESSIONALLY HELP PEOPLE DECIDE WHAT TO BUY
SOME OF MY POWERFUL QUESTIONS I ASK DURING A COACHING ENGAGEMENT ARE:
Why do customers choose you?
Hint answer: They chose you because of reputation, word of mouth, perceived value, and YOU
Why do customers stay with you?
Hint answer: Because they perceive a certain value of doing business with you (availability, customer service, quality, etc.) You should know what that element is…
Why do customers leave you?
Hint answer: You might blame them on price. The price is only a vulnerability. They leave you because of any other reason besides price and you have to determine what those reasons are or you will begin to lose customers regularly.
What do customers say when they leave?
In today’s Internet age, they are telling it to 50 million people
There are 4 main REASONS WHY YOUR QUESTIONS DON’T LEAD TO SALES…
During the first minutes of the sales meeting is it important to ask questions that are not business related. You know those questions that will help build rapport and establish a connection. Then you should move to asking specific questions and the best type of questions while understanding needs are open-ended questions. You know questions that are not answered by a YES or a NO. Questions that will let them talk for you to collect valuable information about their needs, problems, budget, your competition, etc.
Questions that do not start with “do you…?” it’s more of “how do you…?” or “why do you…?”
YOU WANT TO ENGAGE THEM IN A WAY TO MAKE THEM THINK
There is a process to asking questions:
First: you ask questions to build rapport e.g. “where do you kids go to soccer school?”
Second: you ask questions to establish credibility: “what do you know about executive coaching?”
Third: you ask questions to draw a picture: “What does a 61% increase in profit mean to your business?”
Fourth: you ask questions to build emotions: “How are you managing your cash flow gap at the moment?”
Humans think in pictures… if you don’t believe me close your eyes… now think of the yellow fox who has no red tail… Open your eyes… what pictures came to your mind? I bet you saw the red tail although I told you it has NO red tail.
And pictures are best at building emotions and then the final step is action. When we are high on emotions, we take action. This is when they ask you: “where should I sign” … “do you take checks” …
THE HOOK QUESTION
What is a hook question? It is a question that 99% of the time is answered affirmatively and is hooking the client with what comes next…
Suppose you are in weight management or a fitness center… you would ask:
How many people have 5 kgs that they wish they didn't have? (THE HOOK)
Then you would go…
Here is a list of SMART / Hook questions:
When closing the sale… I hate this sentence. Instead closing we should say opening a relationship. Anyway, here are the Smart closing questions…
Three powerful questions I always ask in my coach on deck meeting:
In all cases, the 3 questions you shouldn’t ask are:
Instead you should say…
“Mr. Smith, listen, for the past 2 weeks, I’ve been studying your business, your challenges, and your customers… I’ve come to you today with two IDEAS and a CONTRACT and a PEN and I know exactly what’s gonna take to get your business. Let me share my ideas with you… if you like them, here’s the contract, here’s the pen, press hard and sign 2 copies…”
Just by doing that, you'll stand out from all the other sales persons. If a prospect feels truly understood by you, they'll trust you and feel better about you and your product, service and company.
Asking powerful questions is a strategy I use with my clients to improve their conversion rate. I start with a workshop on asking questions in sales and I ask attendees to list 10 powerful questions and then I ask them to list 5 questions that their competition is not asking. The majority of the time they are not able to come up with smart questions and they don’t know what the competition is asking in the first place.
After the exercise finishes I tell them “If you agreed with me earlier that questions are the best tool in your toolbox, then how come you don’t have the right tool for the job?” and I leave them with homework for the next coaching session to come up with really powerful questions. I tell them during the week to come and while you are stuck in traffic, I want you to think of those questions and to record them on your phone voice recorded. Once you arrive at the office, immediately, transcribe them to your list of questions and grow the list.
So as an action plan, MAP out your customer’s journey
You can do this by mapping out their journey from prospect to loyal customer.
So, what do we need to know about our soon-to-be customers? Start with the basics:
Great salespeople take their buyers on a journey through time—from before they even knew they needed your solution to when they’re a happy, loyal customer. To fully understand their journey as a customer start by asking about past buying experiences:
If they had a great previous experience, think of ways to align your pitch with that experience and differentiate yourself with your unique value proposition. If they had a bad experience, distance yourself and explain how you would fix that situation.
Next, get your prospect to define their own roadmap to a close by asking them ‘what’s next?’
Next time, you are in a sales meeting, record them and listen to how you're asking questions. Make sure you keep on trying to improve your game by asking even more powerful questions in your next call.
“Never wish life were easier,
Wish that YOU were better.”
Written by Gaby Awad
As a Business and Executive Coach, Gaby helps business owners, leaders, and teams grow and achieve their goals through alignment, business re-education, coaching, and mentoring. He has more than 25 years of experience in executive positions and transforming businesses. Currently he is the Franchise Owner of ActionCOACH in Lebanon and in this position he also coaches Business Owners, CEOs and other top level executives. Gaby hold international accreditations as certified coach from ActionCOACH, Marshall Goldsmith, The John Maxwell Team, and Jeffrey Gitomer Sales Academy. Gaby is also the founder of Good Session Coaching, an online learning platform for executives and business professionals where leaders can go through self-paced learning.
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