Bringing customer value through a sales approach of asking better probing questions for sales. The questions to ask on a sales call that boost efforts to build rapport with customers.

How understanding the probing questions to ask on a sales call and honing better sales prospecting techniques that include asking open ended questions builds rapport with customers.

Master Facilitator and Business Associate Mike Fisher joins the Integrity Solutions podcast to discuss the value of asking good prospecting questions and actively and intentionally listening better. He offers real examples of what constitutes value for buyers and how sales people need to start being honest about how (or if) they’re adding value and asking rapport-building questions in every sales conversation.

Key Probing Questions for Sales Podcast Takeaways:

  • Especially in medical device and Pharma sales — sales reps are under enormous pressure to bring value. If you’re not getting time with prospects: You’re not bringing value. Asking great questions and connecting with prospects about their needs is a great way to bring value.
  • Why pre-call preparation is so important.
  • The second half of asking sales questions: Listening! What are your listening skills? Are you listening to learn or listening to inject statements?
  • WAIT: Why Am I Talking? Can you wait for an answer to your questions to see how they respond and then proceed from there?
  •  Where to start for focusing on good questions? Begin with the end in mind. Why would the customer want to consider what you’re offering, vs. what they’re already doing? Save them money? Save them time? Better outcomes? 
  • Think in terms of what’s important to them and frame your questions accordingly. A very important aspect of the preparation phase.
  • When you can uncover what their need is and help to solve problems for customers — that’s going beyond just asking probing questions.

Quotes from Mike Fisher:

“If you’re not getting time with someone you’re calling on on a regular basis, you know what they’re telling you (indirectly)? You’re not bringing value.”

“You need to be honest with yourself and say ‘what can I do to differentiate myself?’ And asking well thought out, quality questions is a differentiator that starts building a relationship. People want to deal with people that bring value.”

Inexperienced sales people go in and tell, tell, tell. They’re not well trained to ask good questions — and instead focus on product knowledge and telling their company’s story — which shuts the customer off.”

“You differentiate yourself on the front end of a connection with a prospect by doing more listening than talking.”

(Is this timely now?) “It’s always been important — but it’s especially so now because of virtual selling and the rise of new businesses. But it’s always been important — and we always need to remember to do it. We need to get back to the basics and back to doing this — focus on the quality of the sales questions you’re asking.”

“The acronym WAIT is important: Why Am I Talking?”

“If you get a ‘thanks for coming by’ — that’s not a good sign… If you get a ‘thanks for coming by’ — what you had was a meeting vs. a sales call that went well.”

“If you can’t articulate your value proposition, they’re probably not going to change. But if you think about that on the front end, that will help to shape the quality and focus of your questions.

Related Links:

Connect with Mike Fisher on LinkedIn

Our other podcast with Mike Fisher: Ep 012 The Selling Skill that Will Better Connect You with Customers

Active Listening and A Questioning Mindset: A Powerful Combination (blog post)

Get to the Heart of the Sales Mindset and Increase Questioning Confidence (blog post)

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