Spin Selling: Good Questions

Posted on by in Reading Between the Lines

“Buyers quickly become bored or impatient if asked too many questions.”

Spin Selling — Neil Rackham, page 69

It may appear that I am contradicting myself today, but a little clarification may be needed on this one.

Click on the book to grab your own copy of "Spin Selling"

Click on the book to grab your own copy of “Spin Selling”

The number one problem of most sales people is that they talk too much. I have always recommended that they turn their periods into question marks: that is my way of saying you need to ask more questions.

When you are speaking, you can’t possibly be learning anything new. Only by listening do you enhance your knowledge base. But here comes the rub:

If you ask questions that are not meaningful or have no purpose, no wonder the prospect will loose their patience with you! Therefore, it is in your best interest to spend some time thinking about “good” questions.

Since today’s buyer has a million other things on their mind, asking too many questions can also lead to wandering attention. This again is normal and can be expected… unless you set up your interview with another question. This next recommendation will launch you to the top of the professional salesperson hill.

“May I ask you five questions to help me understand your current position?”

What is happening here?

#1: You are showing the buyer courtesy by asking permission to ask questions.

#2: You are showing interest in the facts as they currently present themselves. You are not assuming anything.

#3: You have identified the duration of the inquisition: five questions.

Let me now rewrite today’s quote:

“Buyers quickly become bored or impatient if asked too many dumb questions.”


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