The better you understand your potential clients, the better your chances of a successful sale increase. You need to understand the unique challenges the customer is facing, what they want to accomplish, and how challenges are blocking their way to success.
When you gather information from leads, you can provide tailored solutions, make strong recommendations, and help your clients grow their businesses. Moreover, you also get to learn whether the prospect is a good fit for your business so that you can guide them accordingly. All of this leads to long-lasting relationships. But, how do you gather this information?
You need to ask the right questions at the right time. Undoubtedly, every sales process is full of questions, but question-based selling takes the entire process to a different level. It is a pretty efficient technique. If you are wondering exactly what it is, let’s get right into it. This blog guide will discuss question based selling, how it works, and how your sales team can benefit from it by closing more deals!
In this article, you’ll see:
- Question Based Selling – What is it?
- How Effective is Question Based Selling?
- How Do You Use Question Based Selling to Close More Deals?
Question Based Selling – What is it?
Question-based selling is a sales technique that Thomas Freese first introduced in his popular book, “Secrets of Question-Based Selling.” The tactical sales approach focuses on asking the right questions. The book talks about how asking the perfect questions is the key to success in sales.
The methodology is all about a series of thoughtfully curated, open-ended questions to get valuable information from your potential clients. The goal is to guide clients through the sales process with these questions and help them realize why and how your products/services are exactly what they need to overcome specific business challenges.
Another great thing about question-based selling is that you can identify whether your solution can benefit the client or not. This helps you avoid bad customer experiences and puts your brand’s name as a credible leader in the industry. Let’s look at some of the benefits of question-based selling.
How Effective is Question Based Selling?
You may ask why you need to implement question-based selling (QBS) tactics when there are many sales methodologies that exist.
Well, question based selling helps to close deals by improving the communication between the buyer and the seller, helping to understand the buyer’s needs and pain points and demonstrate your product expertise.
In addition to that, here are some of the reasons why question based selling is efficient:
#1 – Minimizes the Guesswork in the Sales Process
With limited information available about the prospects, and your existing customers, you can draw some conclusions about the wants and needs of prospects. However, this can be just an educated guess, and you need to be sure about your assumptions. But, with the help of the QBS technique, you can ask targeted questions to get accurate answers that can help you deliver a tailored experience throughout the sales process.
#2 – More Engagement with Your Prospects and Clients
To learn more about your prospects, you should engage more with them through various communication channels during the sales process. This allows them to freely open up about their goals and challenges. You will be building long-term relationships, which helps get more engaged clients. Even in the future, there will be open communication if they have new issues or obstacles, and this customer-focused engagement gradually builds trust with them.
#3 – Close Deals Quickly and Efficiently
The best part about the QBS approach is that you can curate the perfect pitch that aligns well with what your prospects are looking for. As you talk about their challenges and understand their needs, it is easier to tell them how your product can be the perfect fit. This way, they are able to make decisions faster, and you can close deals more quickly. Also, as clients start to trust you and develop a good relationship with them, you can effectively resell or upsell.
#4 – A More Productive and Happy Sales Team
The confidence level of your sales team can only improve if they close deals effectively. With QBS methodology, they can build good and meaningful relationships with potential clients, and after closing deals quickly, they feel more motivated and happy. As they do more in less time, it boosts the team’s productivity. Also, as the QBS technique is customer-centered, the prospects will be doing most of the talking, and the salesperson can focus on making an impact with their messages.
How to Use Question Based Selling to Close More Deals?
Now that we understand how QBS can be a pretty effective and handy sales approach for your team, let’s see how you can use it to close more deals.
#1 – Focus on Asking the “Right Questions”
The “right questions” differ from industry to industry and prospect to prospect, and there is no standardization. The questions should focus on getting the prospects to open up about themselves so that they present their goals, needs, and challenges in front of you.
You need to devise your questions to get a ground-level understanding of your prospect’s situation. Try to get information about what they are trying to accomplish and what they think about the future.
#2 – Talk about the Roadblocks Preventing Them from Reaching Their Goals
As you know their short-term and long-term goals, you need to discuss the hurdles in their way. They may not have the right tools or are struggling with their budget. You can also talk about previous attempts to solve the specific problem, and why they were unsuccessful. Talking about this can help you better curate your offer.
The more you know about the obstacles preventing your prospects from achieving their goals, the better you will be able to present the most relevant benefits and outcomes of the solution you are offering.
#3 – Use Open-ended Questions
The “right questions” are important, but you should also be ready with some open-ended questions. Most of the questions are put up according to the direction of the conversation, but some open-ended questions in between can help you drive the conversation in the right direction.
While creating the questions, focus on finding the Who, What, When, Where, and Why. Such open-ended questions can get the conversation rolling. Also, avoid questions that can be answered with a Yes or No.
#4 – Prioritize Listening, Not Selling!
Using the QBS approach, you are the one who is trying to understand the prospects, and you need to move the conversation in the right direction. This is why it is important for you first to listen and understand them before hitting your sales pitch.
The conversation should be totally around them. However, make sure that it doesn’t sound like you are conducting an interview. Instead, it should give an impression that you’re genuinely interested in your prospect’s business.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What does question based selling mean?
Question based selling is a sales approach where the seller engages the customer by asking questions better to understand their needs, challenges, and goals. This method aims to build rapport, create a personalized experience, and demonstrate the seller’s expertise and understanding of the customer’s needs.
2. What are the benefits of question based selling?
– Builds rapport and trust with the customer
– Uncovers customer needs and requirements
– Demonstrates seller’s expertise
– Guides customers towards making a decision
– Personalizes the sales experience
3. What is the purpose of question based selling?
– To gather information about the customer’s needs, challenges, and goals
– To offer customized solutions and demonstrate the seller’s understanding of the customer’s needs
– To guide the customer toward making a purchase decision
4. How does question based selling differ from traditional selling?
Traditional selling focuses on promoting a product or service, while question-based selling focuses on understanding the customer’s needs.
Traditional selling is often more product-focused, while question-based selling is customer-focused.
5. What types of questions are asked in question based selling?
Open-ended questions to understand the customer’s needs and pain points
Probing questions to gather more specific information
Solution-oriented questions to guide the customer towards a purchase
6. How does question based selling help build rapport with the customer?
The seller builds trust and a positive relationship by showing genuine interest in the customer’s needs and demonstrating a solutions-oriented approach.
You would find this amusing, but around 8 out of 10 B2B buyers believe that sales reps need to be prepared. This is why the QBS approach can help you develop that trust with the prospects. You can show how your business can bridge the gap between where they are and where they want to be.
Although, all of this is not as easy as it sounds. Especially if you have limited resources, or just starting, you may want to outsource certain processes, like appointment setting, or lead nurturing, to give your sales team nurtured prospects to close more deals. Many businesses outsource, such sales processes and if you are looking for an outsourcing agency, feel free to get in touch with our experts at Appointments.co.
Illustrations by Storyset