Sales Strategies

3 Good Questions for the Non-Salesperson's Sales Process

Find out where your customer is, where they need to be, then get them there.
3 Good Questions for the Non-Salesperson's Sales Process
Image credit: Tinpixels | Getty Images
Guest Writer
Entrepreneur, Sales Expert and Author; Founder of Shore Consulting
3 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

We all sell, even if the word “salesperson” is not part of our job description. And to many entrepreneurs, the sales process is a great mystery. How does a non-salesperson sell? The answer -- keep it simple.

Here are three key items to discuss with your customers. From these, you can design a “non-salesperson’s” sales presentation. They are simple, they are straightforward, and they help you understand your customer’s needs -- which will help you offer an ideal solution.

Related: The 3 Most Important Skills in Sales

1. “Tell me what first got you thinking about ...”

Begin your discussion with a consultative approach to help you understand your customer’s current dilemma.

What happened before they contacted you? What was the trigger event that initiated their interest in your product or service? What problem in their life is driving them to look for a solution? You can build an entire sales presentation around the information gathered from this one query. It’s that powerful.

Note: This discussion can open the door for follow-up questions like, "Tell me more about that" or "Why do you feel that way?”

2. “Tell me how you want to feel when your problem is solved.”

You have identified the problem the customer is moving away from. Now, you’re attempting to discover what the customer wants to move toward. By having your customer describe their ideal future state, you connect with them on an emotional level.

Related: 6 Ways to Build a Billion-Dollar Sales Machine

At times, the customer’s future state will be crystal clear. But in many cases, it will still be somewhat vague. By having the customer describe how they want to feel, you can gain insight into what they want their future to look like. At this point, you can share the benefits and values of your product or service, including all the terms. That will lead you to step three -- the opportunity for your customer to purchase.

3. “Let me explain the process to you.”

Having identified the problem (step one) and shown your customer the best solution (step two), you can move on to explain the purchase process.

Keep this very simple and just hit the highlights. Make it easy and exciting. "Should you decide to purchase, let me walk through the steps with you. The first thing we would do is ...” Share a half dozen or so top-level steps in the process, and then go back to step one and ask if that's the step they wish to take.

Example: "So the very first step is to sit down and write a purchase agreement. Is that what you want to do?" It's a simple yes or no question. It's not scary or manipulative or tricky. You’re simply asking for the commitment to take the next step in the process.

Related: The Science Behind the Sales Funnel

The sales process isn't as complex as some people make it sound. Even “non-salespeople” can do it. Keep it simple. Design your conversation around these three basic questions. If you do, it will put you on the fast track to changing your customer’s world.

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