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Westside Toastmasters is located in Los Angeles and Santa Monica, California

Good Questions, in the Right Sequence

In the balance of this chapter, we're going to describe, step by step, how a seller would use a Solution Formulator to develop the buyer's vision. First, though, it might be helpful to think about the different types of questions that can be asked, and when to use each:

Once a buyer has shared a goal, we recommend starting with a framing question beginning with the words: "How do you ________ today?" It is a logical, safe question that is virtually guaranteed to get buyers to describe their current process, which is exactly where a Customer-Focused salesperson wants to go.

Once a buyer has responded, it is time to follow up with diagnostic questions, ideally biased toward usage scenarios that your offering provides. In order to accomplish this, as previously noted, we adhere to Stephen Covey's concept of "starting with the end in mind." That is the reason why, in Chapter 8, we developed the potential capabilities using the EQPA (event, question, player, action) formula, in the form of usage scenarios on the right side of the Solution Formulator. We then built the diagnostic questions on the left side (see Figure 8-1).

These diagnostic questions are now used to discover which usage scenarios the buyer is likely (and unlikely) to want. The salesperson follows up with the buyer by asking the questions in a sequence that flows within the call, takes detailed notes, and—when finishing the diagnosis—does a summary to make sure both the buyer and the seller are on the same page.

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