The more you ask, the more you’ll hear, and the more you’ll learn about why someone might be looking to purchase your work.
Which, obviously, gives you the information you need to figure out if you can or can’t help them.
But the easiest kind of question to ask, is also the worst:
Binary questions, which usually start with a verb.
“Can you see this working for you?”
“Have you tried other solutions before?”
“Is the problem you describe something you want to solve at this point in time?”
You might get a yes, you might get a no… but even a yes isn’t the same thing as a purchase.
And, how do you proceed, after you get an answer to a binary question?
You opened a door, they threw an answer at you, and now you have to ask another question, from scratch.
This way, you don’t advance the sales process.
Instead, ask questions that start with an interrogative.
“What would make this work for you?”
“What other solutions have you tried before?”
“How urgent is it for you to solve this problem?”
Questions like these are powerful, because they cause the other person to think, to see things from different angles, and to create their own vision.
And that’s important, because it’s their vision – of either the pain of not solving the problem, or the joy of having solved it – that causes them to buy in to making a decision to get the problem solved.
Binary questions however suggest that your vision – not theirs – is relevant to them. Which it might be, but they won’t care unless they see it too.
And the best way for you to get someone to see the usefulness and power of your vision, is to ask questions that switch on their brain and inner cinema.
Binary questions, the verb-led ones, can easily cause distrust, objections and resistance.
So, ask interrogative-based questions instead, because those are the ones that move the sales process forward, while leaving autonomy with the buyer.
Here’s another example:
What would it do for your business, if you learned ethical selling the way only an ex-monk can teach it?