Do you know your products? I mean really know them. I believe product knowledge separates the order taker from the professional salesperson.
I can’t tell you the number of times working with Reps in the field a customer would ask a simple question about a product. The auto-response from the Reps was always, “I’ll check on that and get back with you.” That’s not selling.
First, selling is finding out why the prospect needs to know. Is it important? Is it a critical requirement for their solution? Why did they ask the question? Sometimes they are just curious. Sometimes it’s important. You need to know.
Second, the delay presented by “getting back to them” will many times kill your chances for a sale.
If you don’t know enough about your products to ask the right questions, how do you expect to make the sale?
If you don’t know, find out why it matters to the prospect. Ask. You might be surprised.
My old-school sales training was to always answer a question with a question. Not just any question but a question that clarifies their question. The detective Columbo is an excellent example of the technique. He always asked good questions and always had a final question that got to the heart of the situation. No, he wasn’t selling, but he was asking good questions. That’s the point to take away.
Smart questions are ones that cause the prospect to stop and think before answering. They aren’t intrusive but do reveal the intent.
Let me ask, Do you know your products good enough to ask the smart questions? Then to have the smart answers?