When you ask the same questions as the other “experts” available, you will begin to sound like them to your potential client base. Once everyone sounds and acts the same, the bid is often awarded to the lowest price.
One of the easiest ways to understand the mentality of your potential clients is to truly listen to what they say, and ask questions that help them think about their key issues, their core needs. By asking the questions beyond the common ones like “What do you need?” Or “How can we be of service?” You help your potential customers see new vistas and possibilities beyond the quick solution.
Here is an example. Let’s say that you were a commercial insurance agent. Instead of asking your new potential client to describe the coverage that they have, instead, ask them specifics about their business. You could ask them if their current coverage could adequately cover them through all the inherent risks in their business? Or how easily will their coverage change to include new assets or employees? By asking these questions, you can help your customer to come to the right decisions about what they want and need, for both the long and short term. Once they know that, the two of you can work together to find the most effective solution. It really is as simple as that.
In truth, most sales people fail not because they are not talented, but rather because they have never been taught to ask the right questions. Instead of tailoring their questions to the nature of their client, they are taught to only tell about the product itself. While knowledge of the feature product is essential, acquiring knowledge about your customer is much more important.
So ask yourself, when was the last time you performed a feature dump all over your prospect? And how satisfied was that customer in the long term?