Regardless of the changes in cultural expectations and realities, today’s requirements to be successful in sales are exactly the same as they’ve always been: listen to the client, hear what they are saying and use what’s been heard to create solutions to their problems for which they are willing to pay you. The difficulty for today’s sales person, then, is not in knowing what to do, the difficultly is in listening to the client. The difficulty is in knowing what to ask. The difficulty is in creating one of the most common of interpersonal events – a conversation.
We are always reluctant to give out information for which there has been no request. We realize that kind of talking on our part gives away our innermost thoughts, so we avoid it.
When the other person asks questions that elicit that same information, however, we are more than willing to tell them the same exact same thing we were reluctant to share unasked. Questions, then, become the prerequisite for conversation and conversation is the prerequisite for gathering information critical to the sales process.