Crucial Questions to Superior Sales
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When your customers aren’t sure which of
your products or
services they should buy, consider this handy tool that not only helps
create clarity, but also positions you as a trusted advisor.
referring to a time-test sales tool known as SWOT. SWOT
for Strengths, Weaknesses,Opportunities, and Threats. When I
customer service and sales seminars and speeches for groups, I often
hear this is one of the most useful tools people learn.
how to ask SWOT questions.
Explain to your customer that every customer is different and
want to come up with a solution to suit their unique needs.
explain that you’d like to ask them a few questions to help them narrow
the field. Now ask these SWOT questions:
“When you think about other
products/services in this category that you’ve used in the past, what
have you likedabout
them?” If, for example, you’re a travel agent
vacation options with a client, ask them where they’ve vacationed
before and what they liked about it. If you’re a hairstylist,
the customer about the last time they loved their hairstyle and what
they liked about it. Starting with strengths about current
past purchase helps the customer clarify what’s important to
them. And it shows that you are not threatened by discussing
positive aspects of your competitors’ products and services.
your customers’ view, this alone makes you different than other sales
people who want to run-down the competition. It’s a generous
to start building trust at the outset.
“What have you not liked
about those previous products/services?” Again, the customer
not only clarifying in their own mind what they don’t want, they are
also telling you the flaws of the competition. Much better
this comes from the customer than from
you. Any time you
point out your competitor’s faults you expose yourself to three
negatives: 1) the customer disagrees with your negative assessment; in
which case they no longer
trust your judgment. 2) Even if you’re right about your competitor’s
weakness the customer may not appreciate you running-down the
competition behind their backs. It looks like a cheap-shot.
The customer feels like they made a bad decision in the past and that
you think they aren’t smart. Not a good thing.
it’s so much more effective when your customer
points out the weaknesses. The fact that you already
them to point out the strengths makes them feel less guilty about
talking about the weaknesses. That’s one reason why the order that the
SWOT questions are asked creates such positive feelings.
O – Opportunities
“What would be a perfect product/service
solution in your
mind?” With this question, you are asking the customer to
big. People like this. It’s almost like asking, “If
the lottery, what would you do with the money?”
When you ask this question, you are creating an emotional connection to
the product that is exactly right for them, because they
are creating the product in their mind. Does it get any
better than that?
T – Threats
“What’s prevented you from buying this
perfect product/service in the past?” After the customer
imagines the perfect solution,
now is the time for reality. At this point in the buying
conversation, the customer tells you their limits and buying
objections. They share their budget, or time constraints, or
they weren’t aware that this type of solution existed. In
words, the customer tells you what you need to know to help them make
buying decision that’s tailor made for them.
What fascinates me about using SWOT is during this entire part
conversation, you haven’t begun to talk about your
Instead, you’re focused on the customer’s unique needs. When
do this with the customer they realize that you actually get
them. When you cross that threshold, you’re no
longer a pushy salesperson – you’re a trusted advisor.
About the Author
This article is based on the bestselling book, Influence
by customer service strategist and certified professional speaker Jeff
Mowatt. To obtain your own copy of his book or to inquire about
engaging Jeff for your team, visit www.jeffmowatt.com or call toll free
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2010-11-22 13:58:57 in Marketing Articles