Founder and CEO Selling Through Curiosity
We asked Barry Rhein, CEO and Founder of Selling Through Curiosity, to share insights and advice about how to sell and build relationships with our customers during a pandemic. Barry never fails to deliver. In this case, he is providing very actionable insights and questions to help all of us authentically build customer relationships by asking more effective and relevant questions, for these times.
Curiosity and asking great questions have always been important in understanding a customer’s highest priorities and their decision-making process on how they will buy our goods or services. Building relationships develops trust and differentiation when selling.
Covid has greatly impacted the world of selling globally. Never before has selling tactics mattered more. Never before has it been more important to build meaningful relationships quickly. Never before has understanding all the potential obstacles and competing projects been more critical in working deals. Today more than ever, it’s critical to master asking questions and being authentically curious with our customers and buyers. Curiosity is a critical skill for every customer-facing employee and team member.
Why Curiosity and Why Now?
Understanding a buyer’s highest priorities is critical to help them buy. Understanding how your solution maps to a buyer’s top priorities will forecast the likelihood a deal will happen. Whether money is spent or not is based on how your solution and project fits into their highest priorities. We need to understand FROM THEM how your project fits into their highest priorities that they are going to spend money, resources, time, and energy on now – not down the road.
Remote selling can be challenging in building relationships.
- What are the ACTIONABLE ways you are connecting human-being to human-being?
- What are the questions you are going to ask to learn about them personally?
Asking Effective Personal Questions
Everyone is experiencing Covid together. It is a great time to ask personal, authentic, and effective questions to connect with people we’re doing business with, personally.
What are your team’s best practice questions to connect? Here are a few ideas to get you thinking and asking more effective questions. I’d be wondering:
- How is Covid for them?
- What are they experiencing? How are they and their family getting along?
- How has this changed their world?
- When they’re not doing this job, what are they doing for fun and to stay sane?
Now, once you learn about them, what can you do to keep in touch on that subject?
More Deals Will Get Stuck In These Times
Covid is the ultimate silent deal killer. We must become more confident and proactive in understanding Covid might impact the sale. Of course, the better the relationship, the better the information they may share with you.
Questions that come to mind are:
- What might possibly cause this to delay or get postponed?
- What are some examples of competing priorities that might get in the way of this deal moving forward?
- What has been the companies’ position on spending money on projects like this?
- What are some examples of projects that have been put on hold?
- How will this project be justified internally?
- How will they get the funds to make the purchase?
- Tell me about the people that need to approve this?
- What might possibly cause any one of them to say no or not now?
We might need to repeat these questions throughout the selling process.
Great “effective” questions are key. We must build them as a team. Nobody wins unless we all win! Practicing them so we get comfortable and confident is key. Developing a curiosity mindset is fundamental to selling. Most surprises are avoidable. Questions are not the answer. The effective use of great questions with confidence is the answer.