You've probably heard that being a good listener is the key to being successful in sales. While I agree that it's essential, I'm here to tell you that your ability to ask good sales questions is even more important.
Why is that? Let me give you a little bit of scientific fact. Your brain is unable to do two things simultaneously. It can either listen OR it can formulate questions to ask. Not both. Just one. So if you're just listening, that's nice and clearly your prospect is being heard.
But if you're not asking the right questions, all you're going to get is gobbledygook. Meaningless drivel that builds relationships, but doesn't advance the sales process.
The ONLY way that you're going to have a valuable sales conversation - for both you and your prospect - is to plan your questions ahead of time.
Think about what you can ask that gets your prospect talking about their situation, their issues and yes, their challenges.
Think about questions that might actually provoke your customer – making them think about things they haven't thought of before. Figure out what you need to ask to determine if making a change makes good sense for your prospect.
Write everything down. Then, when you actually do meet, you can say, "In preparation for today's meeting, I wrote down a few questions." Now, you can relax and really listen.