Soften Your Questions to Lower Buyer Resistance

Today I want to show you how to soften your questions to get improved responses from your buyer. There are ways to ask questions and there are ways not to ask questions. Yet, the one thing that is very important is Questions Open the Door to Your Success.

Therefore, you need to understand how and what type of questions to ask. Today, however, I going to stick to one basic principle regarding questions – how to soften the questions to get better responses from your buyer by lowering the resistance to answering to your questions.

First, let’s agree questions are the way to succeed in B2B sales. You must be able to ask very good questions to learn about your buyers needs and wants. Questions help you understand the current and desired levels of service they are looking forward to getting from their partners. Questions uncover the issues, problems and consequences of the problems that create the sense of urgency to buy your solution. Questions can stop the stall process and get the sales process moving again.

As you look at the above list of reasons, you can see there must be a large number of questions you will need to ask. This becomes a problem when the delivery of the questions become to harsh, to aggressive, to fast and to loud. In other words, if the buyer begins to feel they are being interrogated like a felon on the witness stand the sales process will come to a quick halt.

Thus, the need to soften the questions for the long run. Let’s look at the two ways you can soften your questions… 

  1. Be Aware of Your Voice Tone
    The obvious issues of tone of voice includes your pace, volume and directness of questions. Too extreme and you will turn the buyer off and get little if any useful information.
    Another area of voice tone is the volume level throughout the question or statement. Here is the key: one, you keep the same tonal level through the entire statement and it sounds like a statement to the buyer. Two, you raise the level of tone at the very end of the statement – it sounds like a question to the buyer. And, three you lower the level at the end of a sentence – it sounds like a command.
    I would encourage you to get a digital recorder or use your computer audio in to record your asking questions. You will find yourself using certain tonal patterns in your speech. Learn to use the proper voice tones and you will get more results.
  2. Use Words to Soften the Tone
    This part is about the actual questions you will be asking. It is important to use phrases to open the questioning process. Setting the stage properly will open the floodgates of information to make the sale or win the account. Here are some samples you can use to position your questions softly…
    “Help me understand this point, may I ask you a question about…”
    “I’m interesting in understanding exactly what you need, may I…”
    “Would you mind telling me what factors you used in your conclusion?”

These are only some of the ways to soften your questioning process. In some cases it is better to “flag” or “mark time” for the questioning process. Some examples of this b2b sales technique includes…

  • “I would like to clarify a point by asking…”
  • “I would like to take a moment to ask you about…”
  • “Do you mind if I ask you some questions to better understand this situation?”
  • “Let me ask a question to clarify that point…”

There you have a quick look at a few ways to soften questions so your buyer can feel good about the conversation with you. As you continue to build rapport with the buyer, they will share even more vital information you need to win the account.

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Voss Graham

Sr Business Advisor / CEO at InnerActive Consulting Group Inc
Your Knowledgeable Partner for Business Success and Achievement. Dedicated to helping others get to their next level of success. Award winning business advisor; coach to executives and business owners; Business Growth Strategist; and experienced using assessments for hiring & selection, evaluation of teams and improving communication. Voss is available as a Speaker for your conferences or company meetings contact him at 901-757-4434 or use the LinkedIn or Facebook direct messages.

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