Is this the tune being sung by your prospects and clients? Have you neglected to ask (and continue to ask) the kind of questions that enable you to woo, win and wow them….um, in other words, get and retain their business?
Prospecting are you? Why are you asking if they can meet with you on Tuesday morning or Wednesday afternoon (pulling out that ages-old “alternative choice” close) rather than taking a few moments for them to reveal their situation / pain, wants and needs? Do you think that you’ll “lose the appointment” if you “waste” too much time on the telephone. In my 28 years of experience this has rarely been the case. Rather, prospects appreciate the consultative approach and provide the kind of input that makes for a qualified and more beneficial in-person meeting.
Always have a slew of questions in your sales toolbox and use them appropriately. Ask insightful questions whether speaking with a new prospect or an existing client (after all, circumstances change and you must be on top of the client’s change/s lest you get left behind).
Here’s a good rule: make sure to learn one new piece of information whenever you are in a prospect or client conversation, in-person or on the phone. For existing clients you may simply say “I want to make sure that I’m entirely up to date on your account so that I may be a better resource for you. Can you tell me ___________ and then ask your question/s.”
It’s a tad easier with prospects but even then many sales reps seem to move right past the information gather / screening and qualifying stage and get right to sell, sell, sell whether they’re selling the appointment or the actual product or service itself.
So take a few minutes to create 10-15 questions that you can use in your sales conversations and be confident that the time you take for this exercise will provide payback.