We all know that asking questions, particularly open questions is a key sales behaviour. We also know some of the reasons for this. The primary one being that you need to understand your customers issues, situation, problems, goals, priorities, hopes and aspirations before you can begin helping them through your product or service.
But there is another very important reason why questions are so important. The 18th century philosopher Voltaire captured it when he said “Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers.” Any fool can stand up and parrot a Powerpoint presentation. But when you ask that hit-the-nail-on-the-head quality question that stops your customer in their tracks and makes them think; that is when you show that you really do understand the issues they face. You often know when this has happened because they tell you! ”Hmmmm… that’s a very good question”.
As with all things in sales and life in general the ability to do this is part inspiration (which comes from experience) and part persperation (preperation). When you research your customer before the meeting (I’m sure you do that) you should be able to put together two or three questions really specific to them and/or their market.