It’s always fun, when I get a meaty question. A reader asks: “Jeff, per your suggestion and training, I’ve been practicing my ‘dynamic dozen’ power probe questions with customers and prospects, with positive results! Yet something else is happening.
“As I prepare for appointments, based on what I’ve learned from the operations team or previous conversations with the customer — my intent or goal, is to leave a customer with an opportunity, that’ll lead to a sale.
“However, I’m having issues, with the customer’s issues. For example, it could be a problem with one of our invoices, or the timeframe for our service or a delivery.
“I end up leaving the appointment with a task, instead of an opportunity. This isn’t the case every time, with every customer. But it seems to be happening a lot with customers I should have the most opportunities with. Help!
“Could you please recommend questions or transition phrases to let them know I hear them and will address their concern, while I still ask for more work.”
Great question! “Issues” and “opportunities” needn’t be mutually exclusive. To best address the issue, be sure to get all the details, ask the right questions. Then assure your customer, you’ll get back with an update or an answer by a specific date and time. (Then, call or email, earlier than expected.)
Yet then, simply and confidently transition or pivot, (in the original meeting, when the issue is first posed), as to how you’ll help them, i.e. … “I’m glad we’ll be able to get an update or resolve (blank), by (blank). And I was also wondering about your recently announced expansion plans. Tell me more about … ”
Or: “Since this is a priority for you, I’ll be sure to get you an answer about (blank), on or before (blank.) Earlier, you also mentioned, another important priority is yadda, yadda. What are your goals or desired outcomes for that initiative?”
Use the preceding to inspire you, to create your own transition or pivot phrases, plus your power probes. (When you’ve created them, please send ‘em in this direction. Would love to see ‘em. And maybe I can even help you make ‘em better!)
Also, don’t be looking for ways, “to ask for more work.” Instead, be searching for more ways to help them attain a more favorable future and improve their condition.
Problem-solving and opportunity pursuing, can happen in the same meeting or conversation! Yet only when, you know your plan and commit to it. So don’t be sidetracked. Stay committed.
To mix sports metaphors, on occasion, a “curve ball” requires an “audible!”
Jeff Blackman is a Hall of Fame speaker, author, success coach, broadcaster and lawyer. His clients call him a “business-growth specialist.” If you hire speakers, contact Jeff at 847-998-0688 or email@example.com. And visit jeffblackman.com to learn more about his other business-growth tools and to subscribe to Jeff’s free e-letter, The Results Report. Jeff’s books include “Stop Whining! Start Selling!” (an Amazon Bestseller) and the revised 4th edition of the best-selling “Peak Your Profits.” You can also stay connected with Jeff via Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter: @BlackmanResults.