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Build Habits

Asking Confirming Questions

This step leads back to the first blog on this topic…assessing versus assuming.

Confirming questions solidify what was discussed and even decided, by asking a question that removed any doubt. As an example, a salesperson is working with a customer and asks them if there is anyone else who wants to participate in the project…as a way of identifying the decision-maker. The customer says, “I make the decisions about furniture.”

We all know that there are several elements to consider in making…

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Asking Summarizing Questions

Summarizing is a questioning step to see if we are accurate, in alignment, and on track. It’s a good step when the conversation is going on too long, is getting confusing (or going into areas that are less important), or when YOU have gotten distracted by too much time spent or too many details and distractions.

It’s simple: “Let me see if I understand…” then review what has been agreed to. Not every detail, just what has been agreed to.

If there is anything that is outstanding and needs…

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Assessing versus Assuming

Assess OR Assume…you can’t do both.

And the only way you know which one you are currently doing is…drumroll, please…you are asking questions with only ONE of them: Assessing. Assessing means asking questions, not knowing and looking for evidence, but asking in order to know.

Asking questions is a skill. Every sales professional needs to see it as a skill to develop FOREVER because the customer buying process changes, the marketplace evolves, and the desire and ability to learn more and do …

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How to Summarize?

“Let’s recap where we are now….”
“Let’s look at what has been decided and what remains…”
“Let’s summarize where we are now and make sure we are focused on your priorities.”

Notice that these are all ‘stop action’ statements by the salesperson…directing what the next action will be and the benefit of that action.

Summarizing will let the customer/client take a breath and not add new information to the conversation.
It will allow the salesperson to pause and take a breath, get to neutral…

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Who should Summarize?

In the same way that sketching the room is a multi-purpose tool and skill, I assert that summarizing will be, too. And they both need to be practiced into second nature by everyone on the sales team.

The sales professional.
In the earlier posts, I itemized the situations that would benefit from summarizing. For the salesperson, this will be a skill to be practiced and to keep front of mind. It may need to be mentioned in the daily huddle – with some successes from the previous day and some v…

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When to Summarize?

With this new skill of summarizing, it is helpful to know when to use it. As you read this, put yourself in your most recent ineffective sales interaction…and by ineffective, I mean that you did not produce a sale or an appointment. Without defense or blame, let’s explore if any of these things happened and if a different outcome might have been achieved if you had summarized.

Did you or the customer get distracted, confused, or overwhelmed? It’s easy to do when there are a lot of details …

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Why Summarize?

Summarizing is a fairly new concept for me to work with, so bear with me as I share my initial and inchoate understanding of this valuable tool…so enjoy and use what I know now and please stay tuned for more as I continue to learn what this tool will create and accomplish.

What does summarizing and recapping bring to the sales interaction? Why should we do this?

For both the salesperson and the client/customer it manages distractions. It’s easy to go off on a tangent or to start adding mo…

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What does slow mean?

When salespeople tell me that ‘it’s slow’…I have to take a breath and get to neutral so that I don’t react. 😀 Why is that?

Because most salespeople who complain about traffic aren’t using the actual data as their complaint. They might be using one day of traffic against the same day a week earlier or another anecdotal comparison that is not based in fact. And even if it IS factual, now what?

My standard response to “It’s slow…” is something like, “I get that you have some concerns about the tr…

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It’s not my job….Resist being resistant

In the showroom world, it’s understandable that sales associates will rely on incoming traffic for their business. After all, if they wanted to do outreach, they would be outside salespeople, right?!
Maybe.

Whether inside or outside, the role of a salesperson is to generate sales for the showroom and for themselves. The more flexible and innovative the salesperson is with HOW that achievement is executed, the more consistently their goal will be achieved. This is because they are not tethered t…

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Who you gonna call?

Do you have your customers and prospects in a CRM or accessible and organized format?
Are your contacts stored somewhere that you can get to easily?

If you aren’t using a CRM program, you can get by with putting your contacts in Outlook or in an Excel or Google spreadsheet. You probably have systems in your computer (or the company does) that you can use to get started, so ask before you take on building something that might already be in existence.

For trade showrooms, begin to organize your…

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