Earn the Right to Ask – Yeah, but how do you do it?

“I still say you owe me five bucks,” Harry deadpanned as they walked back into his office and saw the golf course spread below.

Mitch strangled a laugh, producing a small snort. He recovered himself and matched Harry’s serious tone. “For the last time, it wasn’t a real bet, Harry, it was an expression. ‘Five bucks says the guy corkscrews himself right into the ground’ is an expression.”

While eating lunch on the terrace of the Bear Creek Country Club, they had watched a player with a truly unfortunate swing pull his drive off the first tee deep into the parking lot of Harry’s office building, then take a mulligan and do the same thing again.

“That swing looked like it actually hurt,” Harry said. “I hope you parked your car on the far end of the lot. I always do.”

“Oh, I get it. My car is being pelted with golf balls and you want me to cough up five bucks,” Mitch replied.

“Well, I can see you’re never going to pay up, despite the way I’m saving your sorry career. Shall we get back to Action Selling?”

“Please,” Mitch said, as they settled into their chairs. “I do appreciate this you know, Harry.”

Harry smiled and waved away the gratitude. It’s more fun to bust your chops, he thought.

“‘The Best’ open-ended questions uncover ‘The Best’ customer needs.”

“All right,” Mitch said, “you told me the ‘why’ of asking all these questions, and the Best Questions Map tells me ‘what’ I need to find out. Now we’re up to ‘how.’ If I’m following you, Action Selling can tell me how to ask ‘The Best’ open-ended questions in a way that uncovers ‘The Best’ customer needs.” Mitch used his fingers to put quote marks around ‘The Best’ each time he said the words. “After I have agreed on those needs with the customer, I can customize a presentation that lets me differentiate by selling directly to ‘The Best’ needs instead of delivering my standard pitch. Correct?”

“Yep,” Harry said.

“Okay, on Thursday I have a call scheduled at Bridgeco. It’s potentially a big account. The client’s name is Jim Bradley. I’ve never met him, just talked to him on the phone to get the appointment. So here’s an open-ended question: How do I go about questioning Bradley?”…

Duane Sparks

About Duane Sparks

Duane Sparks is founder and chairman of The Sales Board, the authoritative source of practical and leading-edge information about the art and science of selling. He has created Action Selling sales training products and learning systems that transform sales organizations. Duane is author of these best-selling books: Action Selling, Selling Your Price, Questions (the Answer to Sales), Masters of Loyalty (How to turn your sales force into a loyalty force), and Sales Strategy from the Inside Out (How complex selling really works).

Discover how the best sales training process can make spectacular improvements in sales skills. Action Selling: How to Sell Like a Professional (Even If You Think You are One).