Consultative selling is all about uncovering information from the customer that they wouldn’t normally share with you. One of the best ways to obtain that valuable information is by asking what I refer to as Umbrella Questions. Designed to get the customer or prospect to elaborate on important issues, Umbrella Questions can be used on every sales call because they work in any selling situation. Examples of this type of questioning include:
- “Can you explain that a little further?”
- “Are there some other examples you could share with me?”
- “Can you tell me more about that?”
Umbrella Questions are a useful tool to get the customer talking more about what they’re looking for. On your next sales call, challenge yourself to ask at least 5 of them. Once you start, you’ll find yourself being positioned as a solution-provider to your customer. The solutions you can create should be rooted in the Umbrella Questions you asked.
One final note: make sure to keep very good records of everything the customer or prospect shares with you. The information you gain on one call will help you develop even better questions for the next one.