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In August 2016, Dan Friesan of Nexstar Network, held two highly popular workshops for HVAC Contractors on building more profitable businesses. HRAI asked if Dan could share more tips.  Here is another gold nugget.  

How well do you really know your customer by the time your sales visit is complete; probably not as well as they know about your sales proposal? That’s backwards.

There are some basic fundamentals that sales professionals use to connect with their customers. The sales professional that employ these fundamentals are extremely difficult to imitate. Those sales pros stand out from the rest of the crowd.

One of those fundamentals is the ability to ask good questions. Not the kinds of questions that you mechanically read off of a form.  I mean exceptional questions that engage the emotion of the buyer. Questions to help you understand who they are, what is valuable to them, how their world turns.

Traditional sales questions are all about things. How much does this thing get used? Is that thing too loud? Is the thing keeping the rooms in your house all the same temperature? Those kinds of questions have value, but they only engage your customer in the logical part of their brain. The logical part of the brain doesn’t like to pay attention if the emotional part hasn’t first been engaged.

The secret to asking great questions is this: Intent precedes interest. If your intent is to learn all of the things you might be able to sell, your customer will detect that you are only interested in your own needs. You’ll get short answers. And you’ll get very boring answers! Your customer will be generally disengaged, and you won’t be differentiated from the crowd at all. You’ll look like every other boring, self-interested sales person out there.

When your intent is to get to know your customer, you’ll become genuinely interested in them. Nothing opens up a conversation quicker than genuine interest. Before long, you’ll be into long conversations about kids or work or hobbies, and you’ll completely lose track of time.

If you want to become a standout sales professional, you’ve got to get away from self-interest. Change your intent. Starting today, set an intention to learn names, and something interesting or unique about each of the people you encounter. That will lead to incredible questions that will open up their world to you. And once they feel that level of connection with you, you’ll start to see that the sales ‘bling’ we put so much faith in is secondary. Unlocking opportunity happens when we recognize that our customers are our only opportunity.

Dan Friesen is one of Nexstar’s full-time master trainers. He is a world-class trainer and contributor to Nexstar since 2004. To learn more call 888-251-9188 or visitnexstarnetwork.com.