Are Your prospects be using YOUR own questions against you to prevent you from qualifying them?

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Last week I had a question from a salesperson who was attending one of my Psychology of Sales Seminars. The question was not only poignant but one in which you will no doubt identify with. Below is the answer I gave which has already been employed and has had a great effect on their business.

THE QUESTION
“…Gary, whenever I ask how old a prospects piece of equipment is they always reply by telling me that they have only just replaced it! Can this be true or is it more likely they are simply fobbing me off to get me off the phone? Any suggestions?”

What a great question because undoubtedly, your sales and lead generation teams are getting exactly the same responses with prospects using this as their ‘Get Out Of Jail Free Card’ to stop you from going any further.

My response was something that has been massively successful within my own sales teams but has been proven to work consistently no matter what industry, product or country.

DON’T BLAME THEM, YOU DO EXACTLY THE SAME THING?

Let’s first place this problem in a completely different context and one in which you might have found yourself in when relaxing at home after a hard day’s work.

You’re sat at home and you receive a call from a kitchen fitting company suggesting that your postcode has been carefully selected for a free no obligation consultation. (Sales Pitch Opportunity) Not only that but if you accept an appointment from one of their ‘specialist kitchen designers’ (Salesperson) you could qualify for a FREE Kitchen Upgrade.

Naturally, as part of their pitch, they will need to ask you questions similar to;

•   How old it your current kitchen?
•   Is your current kitchen older or younger than 5 years?
•   When was the last time you had your kitchen remodelled?

How would you get them off the phone?

Would you, be honest and say your kitchen was over 10 years old or fob them off knowing it will get rid of them and say you’ve only just had it done?

Of course, you’d no doubt tell them that your kitchen was only installed 6 months ago because you know that this will utterly prevent them from carrying on with their pitch as you are simply not a suitable prospect for them to sell to you.

SOUND FAMILIAR?

Whether you are in telecoms, vehicle fleet management, office supplies, finance, IT or in fact any industry, the way you are asking this question will be causing you a huge amount of problems and simply enabling prospects to fob you off.

WHY TRADITIONAL QUESTIONING DOESN’T WORK

Prospects these days are no savvy than at any other time. So much so that they have now become PROFESSIONAL NON BUYERS – they know how to prevent you from selling to them. Why? That’s easy, because, they are training their teams to do exactly the same and are employing the same techniques that you are. (Even y 97yr old Grandmother would know what to say!)

USING PSYCHOLOGY TO CHANGE A PROSPECTS RESPONSE

The reason you are getting fobbed off is due to the fact that your initial question has a prospects ‘get out clause’ built into it!

Let’s imagine that your minimum criteria for a prospects current product to be over 3 years old in order for you to qualify them.

 

Sales: “Is your current product over or under 3 years old?”
Prospect: “No it’s only a year old” (Ha Ha, That will get them off the phone.)

OR

Sales: “How old is your current product?”
Prospect: “We’ve only just bought it.” (Ha Ha, That will get them off the phone.)

THE SALESOLOGY QUESTIONING APPROACH

In order to get the prospect to respond with an honest response, you have to change their psychology and belief as to what qualifies and what doesn’t.

Sales: “Is your current product over or under 8 years old?”
Prospect: “No, it’s definitely not that old” (Ha Ha, That will get them off the phone.)
Sales: “Oh? How old is it then?”
Prospect: “Only about 5”
Sales: “OK, perfect” (Thank you for being honest!)

By changing the prospects psychology and belief as to what YOU require for them to qualify means their standard “Get you off the phone strategy” doesn’t work enabling you to carry on.

 

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