I believe one of the most underrated traits of highly successful sellers is good old, garden variety, curiosity.
If you want to be the most interesting person in ANY room become the most interested person in the room. In other words, be curious.
A common misconception associated with curiosity is that it is directly tied to just asking more questions. While asking questions is a natural byproduct of curiosity it is not necessarily the catalyst FOR curiosity. I have seen many sellers go into a meeting with a laundry list of questions they want to ask when, in reality, this can have an adverse effect on curiosity if you just take the answers to your “laundry list” of questions and move on.
The curiosity in a sales call typically flows from asking questions related to the prospects answers or questions of you versus just asking the original questions. Here is an example:
Sellers Original Question- “Why are you looking to possibly make a change in vendors now?”
Prospects Original Answer-“Because my boss isn’t that happy with our current supplier so he asked me to get a proposal from your company.”
Many sellers would start asking questions related to generating a proposal at this point but what parts of that answer should arouse your curiosity?
Here are just a few possibilities:
Who is your boss? What happened to him to cause him to be unhappy? Is there a specific example? Has it happened before? How many times? What has the current supplier done to try to resolve the issue? Did that work? How much has that cost the company? Is doing nothing an option? Etc.
The same may be true of questions the prospect asks YOU. We have an axiom at Sandler Training that goes like this:
If you aren’t sure why the prospect asked the question, ASK
If you aren’t sure of the underlying intent of a question, ASK
If you aren’t sure of the importance of a question, ASK
The point is, don’t just take the answer to a scripted question at face value or assume you know the intent or meaning behind question the prospect may ask you. Be curious. Great sellers are always curious and it is a mindset anyone can master.