RULE # 3 – Ask More Questions (Proverbs 18:13)
This is a very big one. Just the simple act of asking questions can dramatically boost your sales. In one survey conducted by the Huthwaite Corporation, sales people asking 5 or more questions, closed 72% more sales than sales people asking 2 questions or less.
There is a very important reason for this. Quite simply, when you do that, the prospect convinces themself with their own answers, which they believe 100%. When you say something, it means something, but when the prospect says something, it means everything.
It’s important therefor that you become skillful at asking, not telling. Sure, asking questions can nearly double your sales, but if you ask the right questions, it not only can literally multiply your sales, but the prospect will often close you for the sale.
If you want a magnificent questioning strategy, you can find it in Numbers 13:17-20. Therein you will find the seven questions I have applied to sales and taught them around the world to put literally millions of dollars of revenue in the pocket of my clients. I call it the Moses Questioning Strategy.
Moses was about to send Israel into the Promised Land. He knew they would be met with RESISTANCE, which meant there would be RISK, but if successful, there would be great REWARD. Those three things, (resistance, risk and reward) are what every sales person and every business owner must deal with on a daily basis.
When I first learned to apply them to sales, I had a client who had been calling on a big company twice a month for six years without getting a nickel’s worth of business. He asked me what he should do and I gave him the 7 questions. They weren’t really 7 questions… they were 7 topics, and under each topic, I wrote out a dozen or so questions he could choose from to ask.
On his next regular call, he learned things he never knew before which resulted in the prospect requesting a quote which in turn resulted in a $60,000 order within 48 hours. That’s when my client put me in front of his entire sales team to teach them this method. The next month their sales were up an additional 45% (over $500,000!)
Here’s the questions I taught them…
Then Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan, and said to them, “Go up this way into the South, and go up to the mountains,
(1) And see the land, what it is, – These are what I call, big picture, circumstantial questions where you learn about them or their business, etc. These are more general questions where you develop rapport.
(2) and the people that dwell therein, whether they be strong or weak, – This is where you learn what competing ideas, solutions or vendors you are up against, and what problems you can solve.
(3) few or many; – This is where you learn the depth of the issues and the implications / consequences. I use something I call the P.A.I.N. Index
(4) And what the land is that they dwell in, whether it be good or bad; – These questions are your basic qualifying questions. Are they right for you? Is your solution right for them? Can they afford it? Will your solution really help them?
(5) and what cities they be that they dwell in, whether in tents, or in strongholds; – This really focuses on the mindset of your prospect and their current vendor. Are they thinking short term or long term? Tents are here today and gone tomorrow, but a fortress or stronghold is someone intent on staying and requires a different strategy than a fly-by-nighter.
(6) And what the land is, whether it be fat or lean, – This really speaks to whether the current system or way of doing things is productive and working for them. What do they like about it and why? This is important because you will either need to meet and exceed their current solution or offset the features they like with something different but better in some way.
(7) whether there be wood therein, or not. – This is all about vision and dreams. The Israelites would build their farm implements, musical instruments, boats and houses with wood. In short, they needed trees as a ready supply of wood to build their dreams and fulfill their vision. It’s very important to find out what your prospect is building or desires for the future, then come alongside and help them get there.
Case study # 2: A midwestern transformer service company had been stuck at $22 million in revenue for the last three years. I contracted with them mid year to change that result and one of the major things I taught their sales team was to ask the strategic questions associated with the 7 questions Moses wanted answered. It was a 2-day customized training for their sales team and along with my ongoing support jumped their sales to just north of $30,000,000!
Case Study # 3: A struggling commercial real estate firm with only three of their original sales team left asked for my help. I was given free reign and taught them openly many Biblical strategies, not the least of which was the Moses Questioning Strategy.
I joined them in July of 2015. By end of year, sales were up over 900%. I was asked to help them grow for the next two years in hopes they would qualify for the INC 500 list.
I chose to stay on and by end of 2017, they had a three-year growth rate of over 11,350% and were the fastest growing real estate brokerage in the history of the INC 500 and the 16th fastest growing privately held company in America on that same list.
Watch for tomorrow’s blog where I intend to share the #4 strategy which is a powerful way of communicating value.
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