Columnists Brad Huisken The next best question

The next best question

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I believe that sales and salesmanship is simply a matter of asking the right questions in order to determine what the customer’s wants, needs and desires are when it comes to buying jewelry. Further, I believe that in sales, there is always a next best question! Salespeople need to have a toolbox full of questions that they can pull out and use at the appropriate time with the appropriate customer and/or opportunity. A successful sales presentation should then follow the railroad track of next best questions. Your ability to communicate through asking questions, responding and reacting to the answers to your questions will have a direct relationship on your success in sales.

This is a strategy that I call the NA=A/DA theory or NADA theory. It stands for Needs Assessment equals answers/then demonstrate the answers. In other words, sell based on the reasons the customer wants to buy, as opposed to selling based on the reasons that the salesperson wants to sell.

Customers will tell you everything you need to know to make the sale, add-on and develop a relationship based on the emotional information that the customer wants to share if you ask the right questions. There are four types of questions that salespeople should ask, they are:

• Business Questions – questions directly related to the business at hand. For example what size, shape, color? etc.

• Information Questions – these are designed to give you information about the customer. For example, what does he/she have now, what have you purchased in the past? Etc.

• Add-On Questions - designed to discover any potential additional items that you may be able to sell. For example, what does he/she have that they will be wearing with this piece? What other occasions do you have coming up, etc?

• Key Questions – These I will detail in this article.

The Seven Key Questions!

The following are questions that I refer to as “The Seven Key Questions.” It is my belief that these questions are so important that they should be asked in 99.99% of all sales presentations with new customers. Each question has more than one reason behind asking it. See how many reasons that you can come up with as to “why” you should ask each of these questions. Additionally, the questions will allow you to sell based on the reasons the customer wants to buy, create a relationship, and focus on the emotional reason behind the jewelry purchase.

Who recommended our store? This question will increase trust in buying from you and increases the perception that you get a lot a referrals or recommendations. I would definitely want to thank the person giving me recommendations. This is the only time I say do not change the word recommended to referred or where did you hear about us. These words have a completely different meaning than recommended.

Whom are you shopping for? Will give you a gender and a relationship of the person they are buying for if not for themselves.

What have you seen before that he/she/you would love to have? Will tell you what you are up against from a competitive perspective. Will also tell you how you need to sell yourself and the store.

What brings you in today? This is the transition question from non-business conversation to business conversation.

What is the special occasion? This question will give you the emotional reason behind the purchase to enable you to share in the emotional excitement of purchasing new jewelry. This will also be your opportunity to have a meaningful non-business conversation with your customer. Thus building and increasing the trust factor.

What is important to him/her/you in selecting a ____? This is the most important question in sales. The answer to this question allows the salesperson to sell based on the reason the customer wants to buy as opposed to the reason the salesperson wants to sell. You could get anything from, “I don’t know.” To “I want it to have this feature and that feature.” This question will also tell you if you need to give an emotionally driven presentation or one that is more technical.

When is the special occasion? This question will allow the salesperson to put urgency to the purchase. No matter what they tell you, your response should be something along the line of “That’s coming up quick” or “That’s right around the corner.”

In most selling situations one of these questions will be your next best question in determining your customers’ wants, needs, and desires. Thus, allowing you to sell the customer based on the NADA Theory. NA=A/DA – In other words the Needs Assessment equals answers/demonstrate the answers.

Author, trainer, consultant, and speaker Brad Huisken is President of IAS Training. Mr. Huisken has authored several books and training manuals on sales and produces a Weekly Sales Training Meeting video series along with Aptitude Tests and Proficiency Exams for new hires, current sales staff and sales managers. In addition, he publishes a free weekly newsletter called “Sales Insight” For a free subscription or more information contact IAS Training at 800-248-7703, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it m or visit his website at www.iastraining.com.

 
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