Suzee and I were married on April 20, 2002. Prior to our wedding Suzee was living in Columbus, OH and I was living in Pittsburgh, PA which would be our eventual home together. We were having our wedding in Steubenville, OH. Having a bride and groom in two different cities while planning a wedding in a third city is quite complex. One day while talking with her mom (who all the grandchildren now call Mimi) Suzee mentioned that she had so much to do and still had not even begun to think about flowers for the wedding, yet alone visit a florist.
Mimi volunteered for the job and asked, “would you like me to take care of the flowers for you?” Suzee excitedly took her mother up on the offer and effectively delegated the selection of flowers for our wedding to her mom because she trusted her and knew she was an expert at all things about being a Mom. A few months later when Suzee arrived at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Downtown Steubenville for our wedding, she saw her bouquet for the first time and exclaimed “they are beautiful – it’s exactly what I wanted!”
How did Mimi know exactly what to order that would be perceived as the perfect solution for her daughter? Obviously, it was because she was intimate enough with Suzee to know what she loved and what she would not like. She was able to gain this insight over the years of spending time with her daughter and learning more and more about her.
As salespeople we have this same opportunity. Our prospects and clients want to delegate to someone they trust and consider an expert the needed solutions they have. We must earn that trust, and demonstrate that expertise, by asking high-yield questions of them and offering invitations to conversation that allow them to share all their visions and all their dislikes with us.
Some of the best invitations to share that allow us to earn valuable insights are ‘tell me about…’, ‘walk me through…’, and ‘help me understand…’ Using these invitations allows our prospects to share freely with us. If we use the information we gain effectively and wisely they too will tell us at the proposal review “I love it! It’s exactly what we wanted.”