Three Layers Of Questions To Close More Sales

Lots of good things come in layers: lasagna, chocolate cake, stacks of pancakes. Layers are also a good thing when it comes to sales. When you ask layers of sales questions, you can ensure your sales positioning aligns perfectly with your prospect’s needs. By ordering your questions properly, you can often influence their buying decision.

So, how do these three layers of sales questions work? Jessica Helinski, a senior research analyst for Sales Fuel, says that the technique is inspired by the book The Science of Selling. Essentially, with layers of questions, sales reps can build on new information to really get to the heart of the prospect’s motivation.

In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share Helsinki’s findings on layered sales questions and how to use this technique.

The first layer. Think of the first series of questions as getting-to-know-you questions. These are the conversation-starters that help you understand your prospect’s situation. These questions often provide basic information that you can use to formulate your next layer of questions. First-layer questions could include, “What is your budget?” “How will you decide which vendor to use?” and “What are the specific requirements you have for this project?”

The second layer. In the next set of questions, the goal is to investigate further and ask more probing questions, says Helsinki. Second-layer questions encourage your prospect to thoughtfully consider a particular scenario, fact or behavior. In this stage of the conversation, consider asking questions such as, “This sounds especially important to you. Could you tell me why that is?” “Would you ever consider buying a product that did not include this feature?” or “Why is it important to solve this issue right away?”

The third layer. Second-layer questions give you important insight into your prospect’s world and pain points, and third-layer questions bring the conversation full circle. In this stage of the discussion, your goal is to uncover information that can make the sale. These questions also help you build rapport with your prospect. As you dive deeper into uncovering their needs, you help establish yourself as a solution-provider—not just a sales rep looking to close a deal.

Third-layer questions could include, “You seem to be personally concerned about this issue. What it would mean for you and your team if this concern is not resolved?” “If the issue you described is not resolved, how will it impact your organization overall?” and “If we could solve this concern for you, how would it positively impact your company?”

When it comes to conversations with your prospects, think about layering your questions. Just like lasagna is layered in a particular manner, you should also layer your sales questions in a way that helps you better understand your potential clients and align your offering with their specific needs. Not only will you be able to engage in more productive and thoughtful discussions, but you will also establish relationships that could lead to long-term business.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Jessica Helinski is a senior research analyst for SalesFuel.

filed under June 2021
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