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Sales Wide Open

Learn the art of asking open-ended questions.

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This story appears in the November 2002 issue of HomeOfficeMag.com.

Traditional sales models focus on the salesperson's ability to interrogate the potential client with open-ended questions. The theory is, if you're able to find out what someone really needs, you can fill that need with your product and service. What's scary is that most salespeople still don't bother with this step--they pitch whatever they're selling to whomever will listen.

One of the earliest books that outlined this approach was Neil Rackham's SPIN Selling. SPIN selling suggests you ask open-ended questions that determine the potential customers' SITUATION, the PROBLEM they have, the IMPLICATION of that problem and, finally, what product/service they NEED to fix the situation.

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