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One of the most valuable tools at your home or apartment, is likely to be a ladder.
A ladder …

  • Takes you to new heights.
  • Helps you reach places you couldn’t reach on your own.
  • Takes you in different directions.
  • Provides support.
  • Let’s you easily ascend or climb at your own pace.
  • Gives you a different perspective. And...
  • Takes you to the top.

It’s for the same reasons, The Ladder is also an extremely valuable strategy to have in your probe and prosper sales tool kit.
To maximize your results, The Ladder simply needs to be planted, climbed and extended. And that involves a six-step process.

Step 1: Plant the ladder

You plant the ladder in step one, with some very powerful language:
“Would it be fair to say, there are two things, I already know about you … ”

  • “You’re serious about money and your financial future and … ” (Alternative words for financial could be; business’, family’s, company’s, etc.)
  • “It’s important to you, to make sound and intelligent financial decisions.” (Alternative words for intelligent, could be; smart or wise.)

Get comfortable with this language. Repeat it. Alter your inflection. Change your intonation. Pause for effect.

Once you have initial agreement from your decision-maker, transition to a series of dramatic probing questions, so you can “climb the ladder.”

Step 2: Climb the ladder

Here, you use transition ladder language and ask intelligent questions about one’s personal, family or business issues, challenges, goals and dreams.

Here’s sample transition ladder language: “Ted, to help you, like I’ve helped other clients achieve their goals, I need to ask you a series of questions. First, let’s focus on your personal goals.”

Now, in this example, I’d transition to questions of a personal nature.

Step 3: Climb the ladder (with notes)

Ask permission to take notes.

Step 4: Climb the ladder (with support)

Now, “climb the ladder” with “support.” Below, are support statements — helpful, re-assuring phrases to use, while your decision-maker is responding and you’re taking notes.

Support statements include:

  • “We’re off to a great start.”
  • “Excellent!”
  • “That’s helpful to know.”
  • “Now that’s interesting.”
  • “That’s a unique viewpoint.”
  • “That’s easy to understand.”
  • “Please tell me more.”

Support statements encourage and positively prompt your prospect or client, to continue. They quickly realize, in your presence (or on the phone), there’s a positive, free-flow of information, especially when the content provided is by and about them.

Step 5: Clarification

Let’s imagine you’ve reached, (based upon your prospect’s or customer’s responses), what seems like a logical conclusion to the questioning/probing phase. To confirm this, all you need to do, is ask clarification questions, like:

  • “Anything else?”
  • “What else would you like to share, that’ll help me, help you?”
  • “What’s more important than what you’ve mentioned so far?”
  • “What matters most on your list?”
  • “How would you prioritize these?”

Once prioritized, it’s time to extend the ladder, with step 6.

Step 6: Pre-commitment

Here, you can use the extremely powerful, pre-commitment question:
“If we could develop (i.e., a written strategic program, a financial action plan, a game plan, a solution, a series of strategies, etc.) that would help you meet or exceed your goals, (here, you reiterate their specific goals with their verbatim language, that you began jotting down in step 3), would that lay a strong foundation for us to work together?”

Now I realize this is a close-ended or yea/nay question. But it’s a really good one. Because it generates early or pre-commitment from your decision-maker. They acknowledge if you can help them meet or exceed their goals, the foundation is in place for your working relationship.

If, in the unlikely event, they say “No!” you need to probe quickly to discover why they’re hesitant. You might ask:

  • “How come?”
  • “Why do you feel that way?”
  • “So I can best help you, please tell me about your concerns … ”

By the way, no one, has ever told me “No” in response to the pre-commitment question.

Remember, the Ladder is a transitional bridge. It’s strong. Stable. And sturdy. It reduces risk. Offers safety. And helps you help others achieve/exceed their goals.
Climb the ladder. And ascend my friend!

More: Peak Your Profits: You’ll trip, if you skip

More: Peak Your Profits: Lunch and learn

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, please contact Jeff at 847-998-0688 or jeff@jeffblackman.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 new 5th edition, of the bestselling “Peak Your Profits.” You can also stay connected with Jeff via Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter: @BlackmanResults.

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