Quick Guide to Consultative Sales—Part 4:
Probing for Needs Q&A

What is the second biggest mistake sellers make?

The biggest mistake sellers make is talking too much! The second biggest mistake is selling too soon. Sales training has always sensitized sellers to “find a need and sell to it.” That philosophy doesn’t take the size of the need into consideration. (If, by the way, your prospects and buyers all saw their needs as big, they’d be calling you rather than vice-versa!)

You have three choices as a seller: 

  1. Wait for the big ones to come to you

  2. Go out looking for the big ones

  3. Certainly respond to the big ones, but spend more time finding needs when they are small, then growing them in the mind of your prospects and buyers

What’s the advantage of selling this way?

We have found this third option to be best because the following benefits come to the seller:

  • You are perceived as a consultant rather than a product pusher

  • You reduce the amount of competition for each sales opportunity

  • You build better relationships because you’re serving, not selling

  • You sell more!

How do I accomplish this?

By using ZEHREN♦FRIEDMAN’s probing model, developed, enhanced and successfully applied by clients during the past 22 years. Give us a call at 847/940-7269 to find out more!


Quick Guide to Consultative Sales—Part 2:
Questions Don’t Just Ask—They Also Tell!

It is obvious that you should use questions when you want information to flow from the other person to you. It's not quite so obvious, but you can also use questions to make information or a viewpoint flow in the opposite direction, from you to the other person. Socrates used this technique of conveying information by asking questions so effectively that 2,000 years later we still refer to it as the “Socratic Method.”

Asking questions can be especially powerful when you are trying to persuade a buyer that the problem she faces is more serious than she thinks and that it warrants a solution now. Instead of telling the buyer “You have a problem here”, ask “Are you satisfied with…” or “Will you be able to compete effectively with your current equipment?” This is a good selling technique, since it allows the listener or buyer to reach the conclusion herself. Most of us like our own ideas more than those that are handed to us or imposed on us by someone else. Let the buyer think that the need for a solution is her idea, and she is more likely to buy.

Other Parts in this Quick Guide to Consultative Sales Calls Series: