Listening for Feeling -- Questioning skills for uncovering emotions
Who wouldn't like to double their sales simply by asking a few
more questions? Sidney Walker, a sales trainer and former insurance
salesman hopes a few financial salespeople will take the bait and buy his
book, How to Double Your Sales by Asking a Few More Questions ($29.95,
High Plains Publications).
That's a hefty price for a 126-page paperback, but unlike many
sales books it's light on fluff. The goal of the book is to get
salespeople skilled and comfortable at asking prospects feeling-oriented
questions, and Walker wastes little space getting to the how-to's.
The gist of his message is that people won't buy unless the
product and the provider "feel right" to them. It has nothing
to do with logic. It has everything to do with a person's values, beliefs
Using just logic in a sales presentation will result in a
closing ratio of only 25% to 30%. By closing with logic and emotion,
Walker claims salespeople will see a success rate of at least 60%.
As the title suggests, salespeople need to ask a few more
questions, Walker says. For example, everyone would agree that planning
for retirement is a good idea. But not all of them do it because they
don't really feel the need; brokers need to ask them why they need to,
why it would be important to them, Walker says.
He offers tips on getting people to imagine their lifestyles in
retirement, for example, what they'd like to do and what they'll be able
to do. Walker then follows with ideas on how to elicit even more. Why
would traveling be important to them? Why would community service be of
interest? Leaving an inheritance to children is important to many, but
why to them?
Only by probing will you hear that prospects have always wanted
to experience different cultures but never had a chance; that they've
seen many underprivileged youngsters they've wanted to help; and they
don't want their kids to have to struggle the way they did. These are
feelings-and powerful buying motivators.
Once salespeople try this type of questioning, they'll be amazed
at the results, Walker claims. After all, how can people not buy what
they really want? The trick is for both the prospect and salesperson to
find out what those wants are.
Walker's real world examples and practical style make it clear
he speaks from experience in using these tactics.
Now, why would
doubling your sales be important to you?