Several things about selling are still terribly exciting to me. One, of course, is landing a deal. Another is seeing the moment, following great sales training, when salespeople realize that they haven’t just gotten a little better at their job, they have made a quantum leap in performance. They have learned something transformative. They have gained sales skills—and earning potential—that will change their lives. They have become different, and they know it.

I’ve seen that moment of realization strike newly hired sales reps and 30-year veterans alike. I get chills just writing about it. The moment happens when reps get some practice applying the sales skills they learned and begin to use the science behind the sales-training system with genuine artistry.

Sales training based on the Action Selling system is grounded in scientific, research-proven facts about the customer’s buying process. But while it is crucial to practice the science of selling, art and creativity come into play, as well. That’s the most fun part.

Nowhere does art play a bigger role than in the sales skill of questioning. That’s where you can really differentiate yourself from the competition.

Ask “The Best Questions”

How many times have you given great answers to customers’ questions only to see them buy from a competitor? When the customer is asking and you’re answering, chances are you’re talking too much and listening too little.

Most of us in the sales-training business harp about questioning. For me, however, the goal isn’t just to get salespeople to ask questions so that they’ll shut up for a while and let the customer talk. Salespeople who are in tune with the artful part of selling don’t just question the customer; they ask “The Best Questions.”

What does that mean? Here’s one way to think of it: A lot of salespeople are savvy enough to ask what keeps the customer awake at night. But few understand that it’s equally important to ask, “What wakes you up in the morning?”

What causes pain and what causes joy? Great questioners find out both. When you emerge from a sales training program that helps you build questioning skills in that light, and then you master those new sales skills, you will be able to present your company and your product as solutions that don’t just relieve pain but also bring joy.

When you can do that, you have become a sales artist. That’s liberating.

For information about how to improve sales skills and make sales training pay huge dividends, contact Action Selling at (800) 232-3485.

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).