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How to Sell the Way Your Customer Buys

Lesson 5 of 23

The Power of Sales Questions

Shari Levitin

How to Sell the Way Your Customer Buys

Shari Levitin

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Lesson Info

5. The Power of Sales Questions

Lesson Info

The Power of Sales Questions

The power of sales questions. I was fascinated several years back with a New York Times article so it must be true, it was in the New York Times. It said there's 36 questions and if you ask them, they'll cause anybody to fall in love with you. Did anybody read that? Anybody see that? Do you believe that? Do you believe 36 questions can help somebody to fall in love with you? The idea was that 36 well crafted questions that get progressively deeper and cause increased vulnerability can actually cause somebody to fall in love with you. I'm thinking, if 36 questions can get a perfect stranger to fall in love with you, how many questions does it take to get a prospect to buy from you? Well, turns out I have been studying this for years and what I've found, and there's several interesting studies and I'm gonna be reporting on some of them, is that it's not a matter of the amount of questions so much as the kinds of questions. Unfortunately most sales training focuses on open-ended questions...

, trial closing questions, all these different types of questions that we've been taught over the years, but there's new research that shows that those aren't the type of questions that customers like answering and that customers answer questions in a certain order and that if we can understand that the kinds of questions we're that much closer to a sale. What we're gonna do is I wanna talk about first the importance of sales questions. If you're watching this at home, you can go to the resource part on Creative Live and we've actually got an infographic that talks about the benefits of questions. I'd like to look at what are some of the mistakes that we make when we don't ask questions, when we connect say and then we pitch that premature demonstration syndrome and we all do it, what happens when we pitch before we ask questions? Then we're gonna look at the kind of questions we're actually going to craft. By the end of this course, you are going to have all of the sales questions you need in order to increase your sales threefold. It's all in the preparation. Most sales people don't get to yes because they're not asking the right questions in the first place. The biggest mistakes sales people make is we don't listen, we don't ask questions and when we do, we rarely ask the right questions. Questions, I can tell you right now, they're the most important part of any sales process. In the CALM method, we're gonna start with connecting, but then we're gonna ask and we're gonna ask the right questions. Let's look at what happens, what are the mistakes of not asking questions? I've got some written on the board and if you're watching this from home, what I want you to do right now is in your workbook, and hopefully you've downloaded it, I want you to just write down which one of these things do you have the biggest challenge with? Do you make any of these critical mistakes of not asking, do you offer irrelevant benefits, do you give too much information, do you create new objections, what are you guilty of? What are some of the biggest mistakes of not asking? We're gonna bring somebody up here in just a moment to go ahead and write down their questions but, offer irrelevant benefits. What do I mean by that? If we don't find out what's important to somebody, what ends up happening is we give them benefits that they can't possibly use. Perhaps you're going through your software product and you start telling them all of these benefits, 15, 20, 25 benefits. The first thing that happens is if you confuse them, you lose them. People would rather make no decision than make the wrong decision. There's something called decision fatigue that happens today. You're shaking your head. Do you know what decision fatigue is? Yes, when you're overwhelmed with all of the options. In fact, research shows we used to this in sales, and this is a myth that we need to debunk, that if we get a lot of yes's throughout the sales process, that at the end we'll get that big no. Old school, not true. That was an idea long, long ago. What we know now from brain science is that decision making and will power break down over time. Decision making is akin to will power. In fact, later in the day we actually have less will power than we have at the beginning of the day. What happens is once you've made two, three, four, five, six decisions, you probably all had this happen, pretty soon you're like I don't know, just decide. Has anybody had that experience? By the time I get home from work, I say I don't what we eat, I don't care what we do, just decide, whatever movie you wanna see because we're worn down. We've made too many decisions. We don't want to give our customer irrelevant benefits and we don't want what happens very often is that by not doing a discovery, we give them too many options. We overload them and they experience decision fatigue. What you wanna do is you wanna find out what are the top three features and benefits of my product that I wanna highlight for the customer that's in front of me. Three really is the magic number. We're gonna be dealing with that a little bit later on this afternoon. How do you uncover the top three benefits? Next thing we do is we end up giving too much information. We talked about that a little bit. We create new objections that were never there in the first place, we fail to demonstrate actionable value. When you don't uncover the problem or the implications of that problem, it's very difficult to then offer a solution. Only if you ask the right questions can you uncover those problems. Finally what we're gonna be talking about a lot is we end up selling to secondary motivators, not primary motivators. When we don't ask good questions, we end up having battles of what we're selling to secondary motivators like saving money or owning a nicer model. We need to dig deep to find out what the true motivation is. Can we all agree questions are a pretty important part of selling? Yes. Listening and asking questions is pretty important. I'm gonna ask Lisa. Thank you for volunteering. I'm gonna ask you to come on up and I'd like you to write down what sales questions you ask when you're talking to a prospective client. Before you go I'm gonna ask one more person to come up here. Who else would like to pleasantly volunteer? You wanna come on up David? Sure. Feel like to volunteer? David, why don't you come up as well. We're gonna sort of like you've heard of speed dating, this is like question dating. What we're gonna do is when I say on your mark, get set, go, I just want you to write down all the questions that you ask in the discovery process. Let's go ahead and give you a couple of minutes. If you're watching this at home, this is a very important part of understanding the importance of questions. I want you to while they're writing down their sales questions, if you would write down your sales questions. The questions that you think you should ask, that you're already asking, maybe you've never asked questions. What questions should you ask before you present and promote your product or service? What would you say is the most common question to help maybe get the ball rolling on sales questions? Well they wanna think about, if you're watching this at home and depending on what you're selling, there might be rapport building questions. We might wanna think about what kind of questions. Again, as we've eluded to, if we don't find a problem, we can't offer a solution. I think a lot of sales people make this mistake. They'll just start pitching their where's without finding out the specific problem of the person that they're talking to. We don't all have the same problems. Probably a lot of our problems are similar but, whether it's a business problem or, whether it's just a business problem, we want to start thinking about what are the problems. We're going to address that very specifically in a moment. Okay so we've got, what brings you in today? Lisa is selling education. She works at Halstrom Academy. They have an amazing product, a little plug there, and they help people with children that have special needs and she may share that with us a little bit. Lisa's got here, what brings you in today, what has been going on, how has this affected little Johnny's grades, how is this affecting your family? We've got David over here. David sells Creative Live Learning. David's got, what are your learning initiatives, do you have budget for this, what is the ideal state of your learning, developing your people. Excellent, let's take another 30 seconds. Hopefully you're doing this at home as well and in the studio audience. Hopefully we're all writing down our questions.

Class Description

These days, it’s tougher than ever to make a sale. Customers are overwhelmed with too much information and suffering from decision fatigue, so they’re delaying purchases or sticking with the status quo just so they can avoid the dreaded sales process. In response, many sales professionals overcompensate, either by being too accommodating or putting on the pressure, which only alienates potential buyers even more.

In this challenging environment, salespeople must learn how to sell the way customers buy. They have to reconcile their need to make the sale with the customer's desire for a heartfelt, authentic sales approach.

Shari Levitin, best-selling author, entrepreneur, speaker and sales guru, will share her proven methods for increasing sales revenue without losing your heart. She’ll help you tap into your passion for your product or service and talk about it without coming off as cheesy or manipulative. You’ll discover how to get comfortable asking for what you want and start feeling good about selling again.

In this class, you’ll learn how to:

  • Create an authentic connection and build trust with anyone.
  • Craft a compelling sales presentation that makes your customer want to buy.
  • Uncover the seven key emotional motivators that drive all customer decisions.
  • Overcome the fear of “no” and turn customer excuses into reasons to buy.
  • Use constructive delusion to create wealth, better relationships and peace of mind.
  • Demonstrate actionable value.
  • Appeal to customer problems and buying motivations rather than lowering the price.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Heart of Purchase Decisions Infographic

Get Out of Sales Hell Handout

Commitment Cards

10 Truths

7 Benefits of Asking More Questions - Infographic

Bonus Videos Links

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes


Karen Kennedy

Sheri had me at HELLO! Her content kept me engaged for the entire class. This class does not have nuggets of information, it has BOULDERS. Even an "old sales pro" like me found so many helpful hints and tips in Sheri's methodology. If you are a newbie to sales, search no more -- just take this course and you will have everything you need to be successful. Trust the process, follow the steps. It will work for you. I especially loved the subject matter guests who covered the topics of Digital Seling and Storytelling. Do not put off buying and viewing this class. Do it now! NOW! Sales are how people and companies get revenue. Get going on your pipeline of opportunities, connect with your Heart and SELL in a genuine way. Kudos to Sheri for this amazing class. I loved every minute.

Lisa Bournoutian

By sheer luck, I came across Shari's book, Heart and Sell, about a year ago and instantly recognized that her process was one that would align nicely with my B2C sales team. Having read her book, I knew I was in for a real treat coming to Creative Live and watching her deliver her content in person. Shari seamlessly weaved invaluable examples that creative artists, B2B and B2C entrepreneurs could all relate to, and in a way that was fun, engaging, and easy to understand. She has absolutely mastered the science of selling and the heart of connecting. If you haven't read the book, you're missing out, and if you've never seen Shari in action, it is an experience you'll never forget. This course is a perfect opportunity to not only dive right in and learn how to sell the way your customer buys, but to make the right CALL (Connect, Ask, Listen & Link) in your personal sales journey and watch your business grow.

a Creativelive Student

If you are an executive, business professional, or a salesperson who wants to improve your communications, negotiation, and sales skills --- acquire Shari Levitin’s course. Shari will show you how to better connect with customers, prospects, team members, and people from an authentic perspective. Shari Levitin’s class is filled with excellent frameworks, content, actionable exercises, insights, and knowledge that will help anyone to be better a salesperson in your professional and personal lives. I loved how Shari included other experts, such as Mario Martinez (digital sales evangelist), Lee Eisler (store telling framework and presentation skills), and Deb Calvert (how to stop selling and start leading to make extraordinary sales happen with results from her B2B research study).