As discussed in our post yesterday on how to establish creditability with a prospect you have to earn the right to continue in the sales process. The way to establish creditability with a prospect is to demonstrate that you have their best interest in mind. Asking the right questions is a good way to establish creditability.
A lot of sales people struggle with this because they think that the best way to establish creditability is to tell how great their company is and how great they are. While this is a part of establishing creditability, consider that before someone is going to listen to how great you or your company is they first want to know that you care about them. Only after you demonstrate that you care about them will your message about you and your company be really heard by your prospect.
Asking questions…. the right questions….. will create the conversations that demonstrate you have your prospect’s best interest in mind. The right questions are not hard questions at all. You don’t have to spend all night thinking about what the right questions should be. The right questions are simply questions that are focused on your prospect.
Questions that are focused on the prospect are genuine. They have no hidden agenda. For example, if you ask the question: “Would you benefit from a program that will allow you to ….”, your prospect will think that question is designed to benefit you, not them. There is a proper time to ask that question, but not when you are establishing creditability. A better question would be: “What types of programs do you think would benefit you?” Notice the subtle difference in the question. The later question has no hidden agenda. It is not a forced choice or an obvious answer. The answer could be tailor made for your product or service or it could not be. The point is your prospect can feel free to answer the question without having to think they are being cornered or being forced to agree to something.
Establishing creditability happens early in the sales process. Think about questions that show you are interested in your prospect. This will go a long way to having your prospect be receptive to what you have to offer because you have demonstrated you have their best interest in mind.