The Fight Club Guide to Selling – Part 1

by Alicia Arenas on July 10, 2009

Guest Blogger – Alicia Arenas – Founder & CEO, Sanera


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there are a few things we need to straighten out about sales. If you’ve been advised to tell everyone you see or meet about your product, you’re in trouble. If an “expert” told you to keep pushing, even though the person you’re talking to is disinterested, take the ebook you bought and feed it to a mulch machine. What are the rules in selling?

The first rule of sales: don’t talk about sales. The second rule of sales: don’t talk about sales. The third rule of sales:…. you get the idea.

To master sales, you’ve got to master asking questions. Questions are the key to building a relationship, credibility and a long-term business relationship and oh yeah, sales. (i.e. if you want great sales, ask great questions.)

Scenario 1: Thank you for meeting with me today. [Set brochures down on the table with a business card.] At Widgets, our number one priority is our clients. We pride ourselves on our great customer service and we have the widest array of premium widgets available in the country. [Open brochure to show pictures of the wide array of premium widgets.] As you can see, our widgets are made of a titanium & cheez-whiz alloy which gives Widget’s widgets both strength and flexibility. Although our base color is the bright cheez-whiz yellow, our widgets are available in fifty different colors including….

Scenario 2: Thanks for meeting with me. I know you’re really busy and I’m just curious, why did you make time to meet with me today?… Have you worked with other Widget companies before?… What is causing you to look for someone new? (or) No? What is happening at your company that makes you think you need widgets?

There are a couple of things happening with Scenario 2:

1 – You’re not talking about sales. In fact, you’re really not talking.

2 – You’re not talking about sales. You’re making your potential client the priority rather than getting a sale your priority.

3 – You’re not talking about sales. You see, your clients are looking for answers, but they also need to be heard; they want to be understood. The more time you spend understanding them, the more credibility you will build. The more credibility you build, the more pre-disposed they will be to doing business with you. Not only that, but the more you know about them, the better you are able to align your pitch to their needs.

If You Want Great Sales, Ask Great Questions

Here are some questions to get you started:

1 – Why did you take time in your busy schedule to meet with me today? (This is an important question because the answer will help you determine if they are serious about working with you and what needs they have.)

2 – Have you used another _____ company? (If they say yes, keep probing. There is a reason they are talking to you. It could be price, bad service, etc. But try to find out why they are looking someplace else. If they say no, then ask them what is prompting their need for your product or services. You get great insight into their frame of mind. And by the way, getting them to say why they need your services is a lot more powerful than you telling them.)

3 – What are you looking for in a _____ company? (If any part of their answer fits what your company offers, you’re golden.)

4 – Six months from now, what do you want to say about the difference my products/services/company has made in your business?

What do you do when the client insists on you doing

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all the talking? Or even worse, what if all they want to know is price? We’ll address those in upcoming posts.

Do you have any great sales questions? What has worked for you?

Photo courtesy of Matheus Sanchez.

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  • Tara Repucci

    Love the metrics orientation of question #4. Making the sale means nothing if you are not held accountable for keeping promises with realistic and measurable goals.

  • Tara Repucci

    Love the metrics orientation of question #4. Making the sale means nothing if you are not held accountable for keeping promises with realistic and measurable goals.

  • The Red Recruiter

    I concur! 😉

  • The Red Recruiter

    I concur! 😉

  • Pingback: The Fight Club Guide To Selling, Part 2 — The Red Recruiter

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