It’s not all about pitching your product or service from the very beginning.
The best salespeople in the world don’t sell, per se. They ask questions and listen to what people want. In my time as a business owner, I’ve heard a common misconception time and time again: that salespeople have the vocabulary, the looks and the hunger for money alone.
I’ve been in business for myself my entire life, which has made me be a great salesman whether I wanted to be or not. In business, everything starts with sales. Throughout my entrepreneurial journey, I learned to focus and become better at everything I do. Productivity and cutting waste are essential to fulfilling that goal.
Asking qualifying questions narrows your product offerings and allows you to focus on a target audience. Some people won’t be interested in what you are selling. That means that you can hone in on the people who fit the profile of your ideal customer.
Just imagine that you start selling your product, explaining how great it is and what it can do for a potential buyer, only to find out that the buyer is not even looking for such product. If you don’t show interest in the potential buyer, they will likely run the other way. Now imagine that instead, before you start to sell, you ask all necessary qualifying questions such as: “What would most interest you?” “What are you in the market for?” “Is there a problem that you are trying to solve?” “Are you looking for something specific?” etc.
In some cases, the customer will not know what he or she is looking for. So your questions will not only help you, but they will also help the customer decide what to buy. Feel free to offer suggestions and use examples of how your product has worked for people who have previously purchased from you. Once you get to know the buyer’s needs, you can start pitching your goods or service. Explain why you believe your product or service a good fit. For fun, look at the people who sell cold water on Las Vegas streets in the summer. They only have a bucket of ice with bottled water and a sign stating the price. It takes little effort for passersby in this scenario to purchase. The greater the demand, the easier the sell. That said, you won’t know what your customer “demands” unless you ask few straightforward, leading questions.
If you waste time, energy and money selling to the wrong buyer, they will likely return the product or negatively talk about your business. At the end of the day, that is a loss for you.
Be it in your carrier or personal life, you are a salesperson. You are making a pitch when you ask your friends to go out with you for a drink. But try making that same pitch during a time when they are scheduled to work. You’ll almost always get a negative response. That’s why you first, you need to ask about their plans for the day.
You can have best product in the world, but if your targeted customer does not need your product, it does not matter what you have to say. All great salespeople succeed because they know that their audience is in look or need of their product or service and it’s easy to guide people/buyers based on their needs.
This idea of asking questions for the purpose of efficiency will take you a long way if you apply it across your business platform. It will help run successful marketing campaigns. It will help you hire the right people. It will even improve your financials. Find your target customer by narrowing down your offerings and identifying a common interest. And get there more efficiently by asking questions.
Adrian Ghila is a serial entrepreneur and investor. Founder Earth Car Wash LLC, Founder / CEO at Luxe RV, Inc.