The key to effective sales conversations is to listen. Owning a business for the past 15 years one skill that is most important to every interaction I have is to ask the right questions. There is a rule in sales that the customers should be talking 90% of the time, by asking those effective questions you will begin to uncover those unique challenges that your customer faces and begin to provide amazing solutions to increase your sales. Our partner marketing expert Jackie Camacho-Ruiz takes this listen to heart. Read along as she explains her philosophy on asking the right questions.
You would never imagine that a simple sleepover for my children and their cousins would result in a study on asking the right questions. There they were in my home, seven kids in total, all between ages seven and eleven. You can imagine as the host, things were a little crazy. We did a lot of fun activities that night, but in the morning I decided to do something kind of different.
I asked them to really think carefully, and then ask me one single question. The question could be whatever they wanted to know about the things that I do: flying, writing books, the foundation, etc. What came out of that activity was very impressive! I was so amazed at the quality of the questions that children could come up with. They are children in our eyes, but they are deep thinkers too. They asked questions like, “What is the thing you are most proud of?” and “Why are you inspired to help people every day?” I began to realize the depth of these questions, and how they can be a window to the soul.
We don’t always think about questions as being the most important part of a conversation but they frequently are. When I am engaging with a new client, I try to ask questions that lead me to their vision. I ask, “What is it you want to see in six months?” and “How do we know that project was a complete success?” Asking these questions gives me clarity and it also gives me focus so that I can do an amazing job for the client, and produce the results they want to see.
Without deep questions, you can only get so far. That’s why they are so important.
- Asking the right questions gives the conversation more depth. Not only will you know others in more depths, but it also gives the person you are asking the ability to see that there is more depth inside you.
- Asking the right questions allows people to tell their story. People love to tell their story, and it always benefits you to hear it. When you share stories with people and vice versa, you can better understand them and help them reach their goals.
- Asking the right questions can lead to opportunities. This is true, particularly in a business setting. Going in-depth and making connections can reveal opportunities that you never thought possible.
- Asking the right questions makes your encounter deeper. Opening up to deeper conversation can make you closer and more memorable to others. By sharing stories and exploring opportunities, you will make an impression that they will remember.
I have been analyzing many areas of my life and many interactions with different people. And one thing that I have noticed is that having the ability to ask the right questions in any circumstance is one of the most powerful tools that you can have. Think deeply about the questions you ask, and you will find that your relationships deepen too.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jacqueline Camacho-Ruiz is an award winning author, entrepreneur, speaker, philanthropist, and marketing and PR expert.
With a passion for inspiring fellow entrepreneurs she has authored such books as "The Little Book of Business Secrets that Work (also available in Spanish)" that would give you amazing tips dedicated helping your business grow. As a proven expert in marketing Jacqueline is also the make it happen director of JJR Marketing, an incredible and versatile firm which creates strategic opportunities for brand awareness, lead generation and customer loyalty for your small business.
To find out more about Jacqueline visit http://www.jackiecamacho.com/