How to Improve Sales Skills With Better Questioning


With decision makers and influencers, you will be better off letting them do most of the talking.

You want to let them think they are in control, while you (like the puppeteer) hold the strings.

The average person can think at about 600 words per minute (WPM) while he can only speak at about 125 WPM.

So while you sit and talk to your prospect at 125 WPM, and she thinks at 600 WPM, how much of their attention do you think you are holding? About one fourth of it.

Don’t take this personally! Have you taken any lecture-based CLE or CPE lately? Then you know the felling.

To be more successful at selling, try to involve your prospect throughout all phases of your sales call, even when you are making a so-called “presentation.”

Questions Involve Prospects
Here are some questions you could ask a prospect during a sales call:

• “How do you define quality in a professional firm relationship?” While the vast majority of prospects will say things like, “I want a lawyer who understands my business,” or, “I want an accountant who will help me get what I want,” some will define quality in other ways.

• “What do you like most about the firm you are currently using?”

Finding a Prospect Needs
If the prospect answers this question by giving her current firm extravagant praise, it may be she is only using you to shop for price.

However, if she tells you about things she doesn’t like, you can begin to pursue these topics until you discover her needs.

• “How do you think I might be able to help you?” The prospect is about to tell what benefits he expects from a relationship with you. Your sales presentation should then be built around proving you can deliver the prospect’s expectations.

• “What are your goals and priorities over the next three years?” Can you help the prospect achieve any of his top goals?” If so, you should focus your sales presentation on proving how you will be able to do it.

• “Who, besides you, would influence a decision to hire my firm?” Would your bank have any input?” Your board? Your family?”

To succeed, you must be known to the key decision maker and to as many decision influencers as possible.

Summing up
Work to change your sales presentation by using questions that involve the prospect. Develop your own questions that fit your prospects and situation.

For instance, you can keep your prospect involved in your sales presentation by showing her a list of your references and asking her if she knows anyone on it.