I never thought of myself as a sales person but as a business owner, you are always selling. You sell your ideas, your products, your people. your culture, your leadership. I often get asked about the new business process and what our secret to success is. Of course there are a variety of elements that go into winning a prospect – relationships and chemistry have a great deal to do with it – but the one thing I’ve found that always works is simple – ask questions.
So many people go into a new business pitch thinking they’re supposed to have all the answers (and you should know your stuff, of course) and that asking questions is a bad thing. I find that asking questions accomplishes two things:
- It shows you are interested in the person/company you’re talking to
- It makes the prospect feel important and gets them talking
And when people talk about themselves or their company, and they feel they are being heard (hint: ask more questions based on what they say), they are likely to feel a stronger connection to you. They are likely to think you are brilliant. And they often walk away from the meeting feeling really, really good.
So go ahead, next time you’re trying to win a new client or prospect, ask questions. Let me know how it works out.