I recently got an email from a reader who coached a group of Hungarian sales people on how to shut up and make more sales.

Here’s what he wrote:

Hi Shamus, I was in Vegas over the weekend.  My wife is Hungarian, and she has friends that are in a network marketing group that has a convention there this week. 

We enjoyed visiting with them, but I had a really interesting time examining their sales skills. 

They were very good at presentation and had many great "power lines", but when it came to asking questions — they would ask only enough to get a nibble at their bait before they would switch back to selling and try to set their hook. 

At breakfast yesterday I talked with a couple of them about this and explained that by ‘peeling back the onion’ with questions, and getting deeper and deeper towards the core of a prospect’s issues they will 1) appear to care more about their prospect and less about selling, 2) have far more useful information with which to sell, and 3) their prospect will often swallow the hook, and sell themselves. 

I role played with them until the lights started popping on — it was a blast!

-Dan Burtt

Thank you for your email Dan. I particularly enjoy getting emails from like-minded salesmen like you who "get it" when it comes to professional selling.

Your wife’s network marketing associates were lucky to have you around to give them some advice and coaching from real-world experience.

Unfortunately not everyone gets this lucky, and too many people get the simple platitudes shoved on them about the more pitches you make the more sales you make.

Good questioning skills are one of the most powerful tools in a salesman’s bag.

Part of good questioning is listening well. A lot of sales people just need to do that better, as you pointed out to your wife’s network marketing associates.

An equally important part of good questioning is knowing what questions to ask. Many people will just start probing, randomly asking whatever comes immediately to mind.

One can have some degree of success winging it like this, but the real power of questioning happens when you get laser focused with it and have a plan or a flow of questions you want to ask
When you have a plan for exactly what you are going to ask your prospects, you’ll qualify more deals faster than before, and you’ll close more of them too. You’ll close more because as you pointed out you’ll connect deeper with the prospect and you’ll have their hot-buttons in mind to sell to.

Anyway, be sure to tell your wife’s friends about the Persuasive Selling Skills Audio Program. They can get more practice coaching on exactly how to pull out a prospect’s pain, a prospect’s problems, and a prospect’s buying criteria. Heck you might even want to get one yourself right here, right now.

Sell with Pride,

Shameless Shamus