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Chrm Message From: Strategistprashant Total Posts: 55 Join Date:
Rank: Manager Post Date: 22/06/2006 23:04:33 Points: 275 Location: India
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Nikhil Sinha believed in 'going for the kill'. He proudly boasted to his colleagues that he could 'by instinct' say when the customer was ready to buy.

He was in the sales division of a software firm. Then he changed his company and went to work as a Senior Manager in a consumer durables company.

Things changed dramatically here. The 'star seller' suddenly found that his usual hard selling technique was not working so well. After three months of non-performance, he found that he was ready to leave the job. But the existing perks were too lucrative for him to take that call.

Finally, he went to the marketing head and asked for help. The 'help' came in the form of a senior person who spent some time with him during his sales calls. And this what Nikhil learnt…

For starters, most consumers are looking for solutions. And you can only provide solutions if you know what s/he wants from the product.

So one of the methods is that of selling by asking questions. With a smart mix of intelligent questions, you can get your customers to sell to themselves. Here are a few ways to use questions:

Personal questions

Get to know your customer. For instance, a buyer of a music system is who wants the best quality of output (given his budget). Personal questions here like -what kind of music do you listen to? Or what kind of output are you looking for? - Could help to create a personal bonding between you and your customer.

Show an interest in your customers by asking them questions to demonstrate that you care, personally, about them. Remember we are comfortable buying things from people we like. So encourage them to like you. In fact, you can also find out the price s/he is willing to pay for the product.

These questions also help you to decide the kind of person s/he is. And for all you know s/he can even be cajoled into shelling out a bit more if s/he actually likes the product.

Utilitarian questions

Then you need to know what is the basic 'utility' of the product for the buyer. Frame questions accordingly. Find out the problems with his or her present options (if they have one) or why do they want that product (for first time buyers).

For instance, for a person looking to have a MP3 Player during his train journey, it is useless to pitch for a 'state-of-the-art' high tech system.

So questions like… What will you be using this for? Or what is the number of hours you will be using it for in a day? - would be more relevant.

'Help-them' questions

You should be seen as helping them into coming to a decision and not selling your product to them. Questions can also be used effectively to teach them about the product. These questions get the person to think and draw conclusions for themselves. A question like: Do you think this player has enough memory to store your play list? Or will this system be convenient to carry around?

Closing the deal questions

So now you know your customer better and you have helped him chose his product with in his budget and according to his likes. Now comes the tough part. How to close the deal with questions?

Closing questions encourage that will help him to take that final call. Questions like, do you like the look of this product? Do the features satisfy you? Do you think it will serve your requirements? Remember he wants to feel like the boss. Would you like to place an order?

Prashant Iyer
Take Care

people will forget what you said ...
people will forget what you did ...
but people will never forget how you made them feel ...
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