Never Tell a Prospect Their Kid is Ugly

asking questions to make your idea their idea

Drive Sales Effectiveness By Making Your Idea Their Idea

Have you ever been at a nice restaurant with people you wanted to impress, so you order a fine Napa Cabernet only to have the sommelier suggest an alternative bottle? There’s that moment of sheer panic when they select something way out of your price range, though it’s too awkward to address at the moment. A good salesperson would have read the situation and brought out a comparable bottle. A bad salesperson might take the opportunity to stick you with a $400 Merlot that has been sitting in the cellar for twenty years.

High performing sales teams know they are identifying that gap between where someone is and where they need to be. This essentially implies a problem exists, a change needs to happen, or a commitment of some kind is required. But diagnosing what a prospect’s need might be is a delicate business. Essentially, we need to tell our prospect in a nice way that their kid is ugly. We have to be careful when stating our diagnosis, because we don’t want to make somebody feel the pain or implication of not being able to do something. Manipulating and guilting someone into a buy is just a sucky way to do business. Period.

The key to good diagnosing is leading the buyer to the gap, and ultimately, if you asked the right questions, you can actually make your idea their idea. It’s a lot harder for someone to walk away from their own idea than it is from yours.

Selling is an away game from Lance Tyson

For more ideas on how to ask questions to increase persuasion, get your copy of Selling is an Away Game, available online at Amazon.