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Probing is . . . The process of getting sales-related information from your customer Asking questions (an essential skill of a professional salesperson)

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Presentation on theme: "Probing is . . . The process of getting sales-related information from your customer Asking questions (an essential skill of a professional salesperson)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Probing is . . . The process of getting sales-related information from your customer Asking questions (an essential skill of a professional salesperson) Uncovering information so it doesn’t look like you’ve been ‘snooping’ (i.e. OK for you to know that)

2 Probing Objectives To discover what your prospect wants/needs and why.
To reconfirm/revise customer profile information. To reveal customer business details (practices, values, problems, loyalties, who makes buying decision, etc.). To make customer aware of better ways/products. To stimulate interest in your product. To demonstrate your concern for your customer. To obtain information you can use to later build your sales presentation around. To get customer talking/opening up.

3 Types of Probing Questions
Open ended Closed

4 Open-ended Questions Opinion Elaborative How do you feel about . . .
What would be your reaction to . . . What do you think about . . . Do you agree that . . . Elaborative What kinds of problems (concerns) are you . . . What are the main things (benefits) that you look for in . . . What do you like best (advantages) about . . . Why do you feel that way? Explain . . . How do you . . . Describe . . . Tell me about . . .

5 Examples of Specific Open-Ended Questions
“Can you tell me about your corn program and how you get the yields you do?” “Will the new shelving you are installing have any affects on your product mix or other aspects of your business?” “What are your biggest challenges in keeping your dairy cows producing at peak level, year round?”

6 Closed Questions Usually asking for specific information
Usually require short answer to question such as: Who What Where When Why Yes/no True/false Agree/disagree Often follow up with open-ended questions.

7 Examples of Specific Closed Questions
“What weaning weight do you normally shoot for?” “Who are you currently getting your meat products from?” “What rate of inventory turnover do you generally like to achieve?” “When do you usually make your seed corn purchase decision?” “From the following list of reasons, which is the most important to you in determining who you do business with?” e.g. Equipment in good shape Dependable/timely delivery Price Knowledgeable/friendly salespeople Accuracy in billing Flexibility in ordering Other ___________________________

8 More Selling Questions (Examples)
What is your main objective? How do you plan to achieve that goal? What is the biggest problem you currently face? What other problems do you experience? What are you doing currently to deal with this? What is your strategy for the future? What other ideas do you have? What role do others play in creating this situation? Who else is affected? What are you using now? What do you like most about it? Hat do you like least about it?

9 More Selling Questions (Examples)
If you could have things any way you wanted, what would you change? 14. What affect would this have on the present situation? 15. What would motivate you to change? 16. Do you have a preference? 17. What has been your experience? 18. How do you know? 19. Is there anything else you’d like to see? 20. How much would it be worth to you to solve this problem? 21. What would it cost, ultimately, if things remained as they are? 22. Are you working with a budget?

10 More Selling Questions (Examples)
How do you plan to finance it? What alternatives have you considered? What benefit would you personally realize as a result? How would others benefit? How can I help? Is there anything I’ve overlooked? Are there any questions you’d like to ask? What do you see as the next step? Who else, besides yourself, will be involved in making the decision? On a scale of one to ten, how confident do you feel about doing business with us? What would it take to get that up to a ten?

11 More Selling Questions (Examples)
When would you like to take delivery? When should we get together to discuss this again? Is there anything else you’d like for me to take care of?

12 Probing – Concluding Comments
Probing involves ‘two-way’ communication (between the salesperson and the customer). Probing increases customer participation, learning, satisfaction. Probing involves not only ‘questioning’ skills, but also ‘listening’ skills Really listen, not just waiting to talk Provide verbal feedback Provide nonverbal feedback (eye contact, nod head, body position, etc.) Probing is easiest if you are talking about things of interest to your customer (avoid temptation to tell your experiences/opinions)

13 Probing Sales Quotes In selling, like medicine, prescription before diagnosis is malpractice. When I’m telling, I’m not selling. (Sales Upbeat, Jan. 5, 1995) There is a difference between listening and waiting for your turn to talk.

14 Probing Sales Quotes You have two eyes, two ears, and one mouth. Use them in that proportion. I don’t learn anything new when I’m talking. In selling, it isn’t enough to aim to please; you must also constantly strive to improve your marksmanship. (Sales Upbeat, Oct. 13, 1994)

15 Probing Sales Quotes Samson slew 10,000 Philistines with the jawbone of an ass. Every day thousands of sales orders are killed the same way. (Ben Schlain) Wisdom is the reward for listening when you would have preferred to talk. (Doug Larson)

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