April 26, 2012 by Ken Dooley
Posted in: closing, communication, In this week's e-newsletter - Sales & Marketing, Latest News & Views - Sales & Marketing, negotiating
When a prospect asks a question, the sales process has reached a crossroads. The way a salesperson responds can move the sale forward or kill it in its tracks.
Salespeople have to walk a fine line. If they give a short answer, it can lead the sale down a dead end: “Okay, that’s all I need to know. Thanks very much.”
But if they’re too long-winded, a prospect may lose patience: “I don’t want the runaround. Just give me a straight answer.”
How can salespeople offer the right response, the one that moves them closer to the close?
Avoid closed-end answers
It’s a good idea to try to stay one move ahead of the prospect. Salespeople can usually do this by asking themselves, “How will the prospect respond to my response?
Try to answer questions in a way that keeps the conversation going.
“What’s your delivery time”
Dead-end answer: “Two weeks.”
Better: “Is two weeks quick enough?”
With the second response, the salesperson has the next move. If the buyer says yes, they’re ready to close. If the buyer says no, the door is open to find out what else he or she needs.