Closing the Deal on the Go: Ask the Right Questions, Avoid Nasty Surprises!

Some people hesitate to ask certain questions when they fear asking such questions could lead to answers they don’t want to hear, usually involving the loss of a sale, a call back, or a smaller than anticipated sale. Inexperienced sales reps tend to be most reluctant to ask these kinds of questions, especially when they are dealing with larger purchases.  However, whether you are one of these people, or have reps who are, there are some important things that every sales person should be reminded of.

  • If inventory doesn’t move, the buyer is likely to blame the rep for overloading him.
  • If credit problems surface, the rep may have to devote significant amounts of time to collection efforts.
  • If a customer’s business is expanding, and the salesperson does not realize it, he is likely to miss opportunities for additional sales.

So, what kinds of questions should you ask?

Can you sign the purchase order? and Do you need to consult anyone else first? This is not to say that you ignore everyone but the decision maker. On the contrary, especially if you are speaking with someone who influences the decision maker, it can be beneficial to speak with others at the office. But even if speaking with an influencer, you would still want to know if there is anyone else you may want to talk to.

Do you really need such a large order? Maybe the company is expanding, subsequently providing opportunities to supply their expanding needs. Maybe they’re just stocking up before a price hike or trying to take advantage of quantity discounts. Or maybe they are in financial trouble, trying to stock up before vendors find out and limit their credit. If you suspect this is the case, you may even want to suggest they keep their orders small.

Asking these kinds of questions when you feel they may be appropriate should always be encouraged , and, ultimately should help make thing run smoother for both you and the client.

This post is based on material originally published in Closing the Deal.

For more information on Closing the Deal, check it out on Amazon.

(Burghgraef, Richard. Closing the Deal: Hot Sales Strategies that Make Money. Encouragement Press. Illinois: Chicago. 2007)

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