Answering customer questions successfully is often the difference between winning and losing an account. Today and tomorrow, Promotional Consultant Today shares seven points to consider when answering customer questions.
1. Clarify the question first. Customers ask two basic types of questions. Some are very specific questions about a feature or issue, while others are more general about a broad topic or your opinion. In both instances, make sure you understand the question before answering it. Either rephrase the question in your own words and repeat it to the questioner aloud or ask the questioner to further explain what he meant before answering. Many times, salespeople are too eager to give an answer to a question that wasn’t even asked.
2. Show your domain expertise. If you intimately know your industry, company and products and how they compare against the competition, you need not fear even the toughest question. Frame the beginning of your answers with statements that confirm your credibility such as, “Based upon my experience working with X, Y and Z companies…” or “I’ve been asked that many times over the years…”
3. Make sure everyone understands. Since most sales calls are conducted with groups of people, you should give a little background information with your answers to ensure everyone understands the topic of conversation. Don’t assume everyone understands your company’s buzzwords or nomenclature.
A critical aspect of every sales call is not necessarily what you have planned to say. Rather, it is how you handle the tough questions the customer asks you. Your question-handling ability is what separates you from the pack.
Read PCT tomorrow for more tips on handling more tough questions.
Source: Steve W. Martin is the author of critically acclaimed Heavy Hitter series of books about enterprise sales strategies for senior salespeople. Heavy Hitter Sales Linguistics: 101 Advanced Sales Call Strategies for Senior Salespeople (2011) is the most comprehensive book about sales linguistics, the revolutionary new field of study about how customers and salespeople use and interpret language during the decision-making process. A highly sought-after sales trainer and keynote speaker, Martin is both entertaining and enlightening. He has helped more than 100,000 salespeople become top revenue producers at companies including IBM, AT&T, EMC, Oracle, NEC, McAfee, Cadence and hundreds of companies.