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Sales Training - Clarifying Questions

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It’s one thing to ask a question in response to a question when it is needed for clarification.  It is another thing to dodge a question and/or appear manipulative.   I was watching a political debate on TV.  The way the candidates were answering the questions, you would think if they answered the question in a straightforward manner, they would have to turn over all their life savings right after the debate.  It was unbelievable.

Here is an example for you to use on how to handle clarifying questions as a professional salesperson:  Ed has tried out your software, he likes it and is moving along in his buying cycle while trying to determine how much he can afford.  Ed says, “What’s your price for three users?”  A dodge of the question would be, “Why do you want to know about three users?”  Or, “What price has our competitor given you for three users?”  These kinds of questions are simply going to irritate your buyer.  A legitimate response question might be:  “Are three users all you are ever going to need?”  This question subtly implies that you may be able to get your prospect a discount based on a volume purchase.  You are looking out for them and not being evasive.

Sales Homework – List three questions your prospects ask you about your product and write three clarifying questions that will uncover the motivation or thinking behind the questions, which may also uncover additional opportunities.

1. Question:____________________________________________

1. Clarifying Question______________________________

2. Question:____________________________________________

2. Clarifying Question______________________________

3. Question:____________________________________________

3. Clarifying Question______________________________


Sales Managers
– Coach your sales reps to not be defensive when prospects ask questions.  Role play with them the correct way to uncover opportunities with clarifying questions. 

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