“The art and science of asking questions is the source of all knowledge.”

-Thomas Berger

 Note:This is Part 1 in a 4 part series on “Probing in Sales”.

Asking great questions or probing is one of the keys to success in sales

Probing is how a salesperson discovers a prospect’s real needs, the real decision makers, the real budget and so on

Customers often hear the same old questions from Sales people. Like “How are you?  How is work? ”.  Don’t get me wrong. “How are you?” is a perfectly good ice breaker. But you have to then quickly move to more probing questions. Like “ What are the challenges that you are trying to overcome right now?” or “What are your plans for reaching your objectives in this area?”

Remember probing is not the same as interrogation. Share with your prospective client the reasons for the probing question, for instance, to better understand the new buying process in the organization

The questions are weaved in the conversation. If one is a Rookies sales professional, don’t hesitate to carry a questionnaire. Honestly, share with the prospective client that your learning on the job and would like to ask a few questions

Ask open ended questions, that gives the person an opportunity to describe and discuss the business or the issues.  Let the customer do most of the talking during probing. Trust me, you’ll get much, much more information that way!

The quality of questions also establishes creditability with the prospective client. It indicates knowledge of the industry and company

Get to the point as swiftly as you can. The customer’s time is precious!

In conclusion, good “probing” is designed to help:

(a) Build trust

(b) Establish credibility

(c) Find the need

(d) Provide the best possible solution for it.



SaleS AddA Team

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