Thursday, April 30, 2009

How to Use Layering Questions

When first speaking with a new prospect, you want to find out as much about them as possible. They have all of the answers as to why or why not they will buy. It's your job to uncover them so you can make the sale. How do you do that without sounding like you're playing 20 Questions? Sales trainer Mike Brooks is an expert on scripts, and believes layering questions are an essential part of them. Read on for his advice on layering your questions to get the most information as possible.

"Only the top sales reps use layering questions, and the reason they are so valuable is because they get your prospect to go a little deeper into an area of interest they have, or in an area of concern," says Brooks. "By scripting out and using layering questions, you will be able to fully understand what is driving your prospect to make a decision, and/or why your prospect might not be ready to do business with you."

Here are some examples from Brooks of layering questions you can use during the prospecting phase to learn who and what is motivating the buying decision:

When qualifying to find out who is involved in the decision process, you're going to start with a nice assumptive question like:

"Besides yourself, who else is involved in the decision process?"

And when they say their spouse, manager, or boss, etc., you then layer the question by asking:

"And what do you think they would do?" Or, "What direction are they leaning in regards to this?" Or, "What do they usually do in this kind of situation?"

You can also use layering questions to expose objections before you get ambushed by them when closing:

If your prospect is looking at other vendors, ask:

"Tell me __________, who else are you looking at in regards to this solution?"

Then follow up with these layering questions:


"And which companies look good to you so far?" Or, "Who are you leaning towards right now?" Or, "If you had to make a decision today, who would you go with?"

And then ask, "Why is that?"

"You must listen carefully to each response you get because your prospects will often reveal the objection that is going to kill your sale later on," continues Brooks. "Top 20% reps would rather know this information now rather than send out their info, go through the trouble of trying to track them down, go through a long presentation, and then get the no."

"Layering questions are effective, powerful and easy to ask. If you want to get instantly better, then use the two above (or adapt them to your sale), and begin to write more of your own."

Mike Brooks, MrInsideSales.com, is creator and publisher of the "Top 20% Inside Sales Tips" weekly Ezine. If you're ready to Double Your Income Selling Over the Phone, then sign up to receive your FREE tips now at: www.MrInsideSales.com.

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