Jun 4, 2021
Sales are about addressing your customers' needs and problems. By understanding the issues clients face, you can show them how your service solves their problems.
Here are some tips for asking the right sales questions to better understand and help your customers.
1. Don't jump into sales questions right away.
Sales aren't just about making a sale, although that's certainly part of it. Instead, sales are about building relationships. That's how you make a sale today and encourage repeat business tomorrow.
When you start asking questions, don't begin by asking questions about the sale specifically. Instead, ask questions that develop a relationship and give you a chance to get to know the client better.
For example, ask questions about their long- and short-term goals. After that, move into questions about the issues they face and what solutions they currently use. Then, find out what does and does not work about those solutions. That will help you understand your potential customer, which allows you to meet their needs right now and anticipate future needs.
2. Ask open-ended questions
Be-Do-Have: Be The Person, Do The Work, Have The Results. - Randalism
In life, contractors produce reasons or results and, reasons don't count.
Over the years, we have experienced success and failure in construction. Success comes whenever I have engaged mentors that are where I want to be. Failure always comes from engaging people who cannot produce results but think they can.
To get to the truth about your construction company, you must go on a journey. It is four levels deep, and like most successes in life, it is simple but not easy.
A Story To Illustrate The Four Levels Of Truth
What Contractors Want To Hear - One evening after work, a group of contractors met at the Contractor Business Round Table, the neighborhood tavern with a round table, pitcher of beer, and four contractors. They talked about how tough it is to get profitable jobs no matter what the economy is like. When times are good, it is hard to find employees; when times are tough, the phone doesn't ring. Everyone agreed there was nothing anyone could do about it.
What Contractors Want To Believe - A short while later, they talked about making money and agreed that big contractors make most of the money, and little contractors were doomed to struggle.
Everything Else - One of the contractors suggested maybe they could ask one of the larger, more profitable contractors and determine what they did that made the difference. This, of course, made the other contractors a bit uncomfortable. Then it happened, and they all heard and felt the dreaded Snap-Crackle-Pop! The contractor who suggested asking for help experienced a paradigm shift and broke through to the other side. This contractor began leveling up! Suddenly they all remembered what that The Contractors Accountant, Randal DeHart, had said about leveling up. "As you develop your Business Strategy, your income is likely to increase. The impact on your friends will not be pleasant as you will be proving that good people can win in the construction game by playing it with high moral and ethical standards and the willingness to try something different."
Truth - Is whatever you believe, and you will look for evidence to support your truth. Part of our truth comes from some of the writings of Og Mandino, and hopefully, you will find value in this one as well:
The Salesman’s Prayer
Oh creator of all things help me for this day I go into the world naked and alone, and without your hand to guide me I will wander far from the path which leads to success and happiness.
I ask not for garments or gold or even opportunities equal to my ability; instead guide me that I may acquire ability equal to my opportunities. You have taught the lion and eagle to hunt and prosper with teeth and claw. Teach me how to hunt with words and prosper with love so that I may be a lion among men and an eagle in the marketplace.
Help me to remain humble through obstacles and failures yet hide not from mine eyes the prize that will come with victory. Assign me tasks to which other have failed, yet guide me to pluck the seeds of success from their failures. Confront me with fears that will temper my Spirit yet endow me with courage to laugh at my misgivings.
Spare me sufficient days to reach my goals; yet help me to live this day as though it be my last.
Guide me in my words that they may bear fruit; yet silence me from gossip that none be maligned. Discipline me in the habit of trying and trying again yet show me the way to make use of the Law of Averages. Favor me with alertness to recognize opportunity, yet endow me with patience which will concentrate my strength.
Bathe me in good habits that the bad ones may drown; yet grant me compassion for weakness in others. Suffer me to know that all things shall pass; yet help me to count my blessings of today.
Expose me to hate so it not be a stranger; yet fill my cup with love to turn strangers into friends.
But all these things be only if thy will; I am a small and lonely grape clutching the vine, yet thou hast made me different from all others.
Verily there must be a special place for me. Guide me, help me, show me the way to become all you planned for me when my seed was planted and selected by you to sprout in the vineyard of the world.
Help this humble salesman, guide me God.
- The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino
Asking questions is vital to get valuable information from prospective clients by helping you understand their needs, priorities, and problems. By showing customers, you can listen to them and understand their needs; you build an important connection with them to provide them solutions. That connection may also be what keeps them coming back to your contracting business. That's how you build valuable relationships with clients.
Got a question? Let's talk.
About The Author:
Sharie DeHart, QPA, is the co-founder of Business Consulting And Accounting in Lynnwood, Washington. She is the leading expert in managing outsourced construction bookkeeping and accounting services companies and cash management accounting for small construction companies across the USA. She encourages Contractors and Construction Company Owners to stay current on their tax obligations and offers insights on how to manage the remaining cash flow to operate and grow their construction company sales and profits so they can put more money in the bank. Call 1-800-361-1770 or firstname.lastname@example.org