Thoughts on Questioning and Why Questioning Matters in Selling

There’s an old African saying: “No one is without knowledge except him who asks no questions.” In my mind, this is a no brainer. I think we’d be hard pressed to find someone who was great at selling who didn’t know how to ask great questions.

Great questions lead to great answers—which leads to gaining insight about what our customers are thinking, what their values are, what they are passionate about, what issues and challenges they are struggling with, how they feel about our product, etc. You get the idea. Continue reading

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Does Your Business Relationship need a Tune-up?

We tend to take our cars for tune-ups quite regularly. This is even easier to do when our cars send us reminders, as some of the newer cars do. Too bad we don’t have something similar to remind us that we need a relationship tune-up. Because neglecting to tune-up our business relationships can be risky—and harder to repair than a car. Continue reading

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Getting Customers to Commit the Easy Way

Do you inwardly cringe when your sales conversation is coming to an end and it’s time to ask that closing question? Do you often avoid asking for the business? If you’re like most sales people, the answer to both questions is “yes.” Why is closing so hard to do?

Part of the problem probably lies in the type of our conversation we have with our customers. When we discuss our product with our customer, we might be saying things that feel unnatural to us and to our customer. Often this peeks when we ask a hard closing question. At times the questions we are taught to ask are totally inconsistent with who we are. Most sales professionals are not pushy and aggressive but many of the commitment techniques we’ve been taught in training make us sound like we are…. Continue reading

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Uncommon Commonalities

When you meet someone for the first time, it’s only natural to look for things that you have in common. After all, that’s how relationships (both business and professional) are formed. But have you ever given thought to seeking out your uncommon commonalities? Continue reading

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Would Your Customers accuse you of being Customer-Centric?

Customer-centric. That’s been the buzz word in business for a few years now. Sales reps are taught to be customer-centric in their selling approach. Organizations tout that they are adopting a customer-centric culture. But I wonder if we polled their customers if they would agree that things are truly customer-centric.

In my mind, being customer-centric is being able to think like the customer. But I wonder how many of us actually achieve that. Thinking like the customer is much harder to do in reality than in practice. Continue reading

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The Peyton Manning Puzzle and What it Reveals about Selling

“Quarterback Peyton Manning threw a football so that it stopped in mid-air, reversed its course and returned to him. How did he do it?” That was the question my friend asked a group of us to answer.

Our first response was to ask him to repeat the question. It sounded quite implausible. Then we started guessing, “He threw an interception and it got sent back to him.” “He didn’t throw a football; it was a boomerang.” “He didn’t actually do it; it was an instant replay trick.” Continue reading

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What Does Your Customer Treasure—and Why You Need To Find out What It Is

Do you know what your customer treasures—what really matters to that individual?  And perhaps more importantly, do you understand why you need to know this?

Selling is a thinking person’s game. In essence you are trying to solve someone else’s problems. You can’t do this unless you understand exactly what those problems are, the ramifications of those problems, and the issues surrounding them. How can you learn this vital information?  By asking your customers. Continue reading

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The Genesis of Success: Self-Awareness

“I think self-awareness is probably the most important thing towards being a champion.” [Billie Jean King]. I agree. Self-awareness is the genesis of success. It’s similar to what they say about history. If you want to understand the future, look to the past. If you want to figure out what you need to do to succeed, you need to look back and see what has worked well for you. And what hasn’t. Basically, you need to understand yourself—your strengths, your weaknesses, likes, dislikes, passions, etc. Continue reading

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Are You as Good as Pope Francis?

I stumbled upon a blog posting I had saved from June:Culture Change? Pope Francis Shows Us How and thought about how the leaders I’ve worked with often express concern about how difficult it is to change their selling culture. Just imagine how Pope Francis feels. He’s trying to change a culture which is steeped in ritual and history going back 2,000 years! Continue reading

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That Time of the Year

This is the time of the year when everyone seems to be caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holidays—buying presents, going to parties, winding up the year’s business.  I can think of no better time to take a moment to step back, reflect, and consider what is really important. And perhaps consider the greatest gift you can give. Continue reading

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