TELLER OR ASKER?
Which are you?
I’ve begun asking Sellers whether they are “tellers” or “askers.” The almost-immediate answer is, “I’m an asker.” Sometimes, though, reality and perception are very far apart. After much discussion and a little video-tape role-play, the realization creeps in that most Salespeople do more telling than asking.
Of course, Sellers have to do both – telling and asking. But, this is a question of sequence – which comes first? My experience has shown that most Sellers “tell” before they ask. This appears to be the easiest route to take as it feels “natural” and can create an illusion of “give and take,” building a relationships and, well, Selling. Some Sellers have even told me they think it’s “to pushy” to start with questioning. I take a much different stance.
Wherever you stand on this issue, you need to understand exactly what type of Seller you are and wish to be. Begin audio-taping your end of phone calls to know for sure. Then, role-play with your colleagues and Managers and try asking first, then telling. I think you’ll find that your “telling” is getting in the way of your “asking.” After all, how can a Seller “tell” what they can do for a Buyer without asking the proper questions to understand their needs?
Asking first is the more difficult route – at least at first. You’ll need to know what your going to ask before you get there and then continue asking based on the Buyer’s responses. This will require change, which can be very difficult strategically and in execution. Stick with it, though, and you’ll become a committed “asker” first and a “teller” second.
What do you think?
Good Selling to you!
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