Sidney C. Walker
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The following book review of

How to Double Your Sales by
Asking a Few More Questions

by Sidney C. Walker

(Appeared in Registered Rep. Magazine)


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 and feelings.

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?



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