One key behaviour category that sales champions master.

IMG_0811.PNGAuthor: Anders Christian Hjort

This morning during my morning blog surf I found this brilliant contribution from Wyn Nathan Davis.

It brings forward again the importance of asking questions is one of the keys to having successful sales conversations. It’s not just words – it’s science and psychologists support this Wyn writes, and I agree.

At Huthwaite International our on going verbal behavioural research during the last 40 years also support that sales champions ask more than they give information, and by this they also take control and drive conversations in a way that buyers likes.

From this research the internationally renowned SPIN® Selling behaviours was discovered, uncovering the specific categories of questions successful sellers apply more often than their average peers. Originally a research body of 6.000 observations of sellers and buyers interacting. Today more than 45.000 observations that show what successful sellers do differently.

Huthwaite International trained and observed 14.000+ sales executives all over the globe last year, and I’m still amazed to see the positive effects and how the sales conversation dynamics change due to asking powerful questions.

But have a read below on how Wyn brings the key messages in his own words:

The ‘One Thing’ That Will Massively Increase Sales Performance

By Wyn Nathan Davis

Selling is a complex process – perhaps a game would be a better word. We get what we want by helping others get what they want. In the best scenario everybody does better.

The problem with many sales situations is that salespeople allow the sales relationship to deteriorate into chasing the order. A focus on price gives up power to the prospect.

How to avoid giving up power and move to gaining control of the sales process?

Ask! Simply Ask!

Most salespeople are good at talking but the real power is in asking – asking questions and asking for action. Many salespeople will talk until they get the answer they want but often the result is the loss of control of the customer conversation. The best way to gain control and maintain power is to ask!

Every human being has been trained from childhood to do what he or she is ASKED to do. ASK . . . and according to the Law of Averages you’ll get enough ‘yes’ responses to guarantee your overall success.

ASK for the order and you’ll increase the results of actually getting the business ten fold.

Why will people do what you ask?

People are taught from earliest childhood to do what is ASKED of them. This training to do or say what they are ASKED to do or say starts in the home as soon as little children are first able to understand anything. Psychologists say that the one factor, which motivates people to act – more than any other – is their desire to be IMPORTANT. In fact, psychologists say that everybody should have to wear across his chest a big sign printed in capital letters stating: “I WANT TO FEEL IMPORTANT.”

When you ASK people to do something or to give you or for some information you need, they will have a strong tendency to do what you ASK because, by so doing, it demonstrates THEIR importance. It makes them feel superior to you and gives them that warm inner glow of having been helpful.

At the same time you, too, have gained. You got what you ASKED for. And, you also have the inner satisfaction of having helped someone else feel important and helpful. Encourage others to talk by ASKING: “What is your opinion?” “How would you do it?” “Have you been disappointed by suppliers in the past.” “Are you sure you’re getting the best mix of pricing and service?”

It is the scientific finding of psychologists that a favourable response to ASKING is a “conditioned response” developed in everybody starting in early childhood, continued constantly during all the years of schooling, and established as the principal business procedure for getting things done.

That is WHY people will do what you ASK.

That is why the “magic” three-letter word – ASK – is the quickest, simplest, easiest, surest way for you to GET WHATEVER YOU WANT.


Need to get past a gatekeeper – don’t lie, ask for their help.

Need to find out what your customer wants? Ask! People will tell you! Now, in some cases people will not answer a direct question because they may be prepared NOT to answer specific questions on – for example, price. However, if you ask indirect questions about value, what is important, where have suppliers failed in the past you may be very surprised how willing people are to answer.

Take away – think about your customer and the type of information that would help you close more sales, price more effectively and provide the exact kind of service that your customer wants. Develop ten questions that could be asked and make a point to ask three during every client meeting. Also make a point to ask buyers to do things for you – especially small favours – asking small favours put you in control of the client conversation and increases your chance of success.

Wyn Nathan Davis
Wyn Nathan Davis MBA DTM is a London based sales recruiter, sales trainer and sales process consultant . A best selling author and professional speaker.



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