Constantly ask yourself, "Do your questions clarify customers' and your ability to achieve their goals?" Anything but a yes answer serves no business purpose. Your listening and questioning skills are invaluable tools in making sure you get to yes answers. The
The difference between success and failure is usually only a matter of one or two questions that you did not ask or that you asked incorrectly.
Your active listening encourages customers to disclose information; your follow-up responses tell them that you are receiving their messages.
Use your extra listening time to look for visual and verbal clues to anticipate (not assume or advocate a product) a customer's response.
Your questions will take you down only one of two paths. You either find out unknowns about customers' goals, filters, measurable benefits, and systems of evaluations ( G o F or M easurable S pecifics) or confirm what you already know about your products, their features, and their benefits. Customer experts do the former; product experts do the latter.
The Safety Zone strategy references all questions concerning filters back to the customers' goals. Customers understand why you ask questions when you reference their goals or filters. Other topics you might explore have only limited business value.
Any question that starts with a version of How's Zat? to understand how the customer's comment affects his or her ability to achieve goals means you are using the Safety Zone strategy.
How's Zat? tactics include the following:
Follow the Customers' Lead. Relate all clarifying questions to customers' last responses on how they affect their goals and filters.
Ask Specific but Open-Ended Questions. Do not use yes-or-no questions unless you need to verify a point.
No Loose Ends. Verify that a goal or filter is measurable before pursuing another.
Don't Shoot Yourself. Never confirm a negative statement.
Think Positively. Never make a negative assumption.
No Echoes. Rephrase the customers' responses; do not merely repeat them.
Customers' responses are usually
The questioning process involves qualifying, clarifying, or verifying to transform customers' vague responses into measurable terms of time and money.
Only verifying questions should seek yes-or-no answers.
The time has come to take all the concepts, strategies, and tactics from the previous chapters, tie them together, and apply them to your sales calls. It is time to outvalue the competition and receive higher profits as your reward.
This chapter empowers you to evaluate every sales opportunity using cast-in-stone reference points to ensure that the efforts of you and your customers are worth the returns. It explains the following:
How the framework of the MeasureMax ("Measure to Maximize'') selling system works
How you use its measuring tools to influence sales in progress
How your sales orders become planned events, not random occurrences
How you sell value in business environments that are constantly tempted by low prices
How to conduct the first two selling phases—MP 1: Spark Interest and MP 2: Measure Potential—without mentioning specific products