“Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers.”
– Anthony Robbins – American Motivational Expert

What really influences someone decision to buy something? The bottom line is, the product or service has to satisfy the concern the person has about the situation. We are each a collection of concerns. We have concerns about eating, sleeping, working, everything. The only reason we do anything is to satisfy a concern.

At Possibilities Unlimited, we train our clients to use this thinking in the sales process. We work hard at identifying the client’s concerns. When someone buys something, they have a concern that a certain product or service can fill. The salesperson’s job is to identify and address those concerns, and then show the customer how his product or service will satisfy those concerns. If a salesperson is unsuccessful at satisfying the prospect’s concerns, he will not get the sale.

So how do you get the prospect to share his or her concerns? Questions, questions, questions. Here are a few of the types of questions you can ask to learn more about what your prospect really wants:

1. Yes/No Questions – Straight to the point. “Do you use this service?” “Do you have this product?”

2. Loaded Questions – Helps you paint the picture of their situation. “Tell me how you use this product.” “Tell me about how it helps you in your business.”

3. Digging Deeper – Use what they reveal in the loaded questions and press into those areas. They are important to the prospect. “How can I help you with that?” “How could we design it to work better for you?”

4. Reversal Questions – “If you were selling this product, what would you think would be important to emphasize?”

5. Best/Worst Questions – “What do you like best about your current provider?” “What would you change about your relationship with that vendor?”

6. Perfect World Questions – “If you could design the perfect solution to your needs, what would it look like?”

7. Buy Now Questions – “What you would need that would motivate you to buy right now?”

It’s important to listen carefully to these answers so that you can paint a picture for the prospect of how your product or service satisfies these concerns. You’re also painting a picture for yourself of what this customer will be like to work with. You may discover that you and the prospect are not a match. The better you are at getting to the heart of their buying decision, the better the chance you’ll have at closing the sale and developing a long term and prosperous relationship. And that’s a win/win all around.


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Ralph White
Business Coach, Author, Artist & CEO
310.372.8538 | Ralph@Consulting2Win.com
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