What’s the Best Sales Tool Ever … And It’s Free?

October 21st, 2008 by | Print

Ask salespeople what THE best tool they have for making successful sales and you will get a variety of answers.


Some will go with technology and say it’s their favorite Customer Relationship Management (CRM) or Sales Force Automation (SFA) software. Others will go with a more personal approach, saying it’s their ears for listening and their eyes for reading body language, their gift of gab, or their winning smile and personality.


Only the top tier sales professionals will give the correct answer – the “?“.


Yes, the “?”. While all of the other items are great to have, there’s no question that the question mark is king.


A smile can put a customer at ease, but try and build lasting rapport and trust without asking a question. Ears and eyes are great for listening and picking up body language, but only after questions are asked. CRM and SFA software are great (if you need them at all) to help keep all of your customers organized, but you will limit the number of customers that you have if you don’t put the question mark to work first.


Let’s take a quick look at some of the benefits of this powerful sales tool.


  • It doesn’t cost anything.
  • You can take it with you anywhere.
  • It creates dialogue between you and your customers.
  • It gets you to making a sale quicker.
  • It allows you to understand what need, desire or problem your customer seeks a solution for so you can present the best solution the first time.
  • You don’t have to worry about whether you have the latest revision.
  • It allows you to quickly assess whether potential customers are worthy customers.


Even if you are doing sales over the Internet and don’t speak directly with your customers, you still need to implore the help of the question mark in the research of your market before you can make a sale. You are asking questions about what is important to your target market, what products or services they want, and how they prefer to buy them.


The sales process, whether quick or long, is an interview. The customer is interviewing you (and the products and services that you represent) and you are interviewing the customer to see if they are worthy of your time. Can you perform an interview without a question?


WARNING – A true interest in your customers’ needs, wants and problems must accompany the question mark. And you must know when it is best to ask questions.


One source for some great tips on the best use of this most powerful of sales tools is a quick-read of a book titled, “Asking Questions, Winning Sales” by Stephen Schiffman. Mr. Schiffman, America’s #1 Corporate Sales Trainer, gives great advice about HOW and WHEN to use “?”.


So even though you as a solopreneur are not a corporation, you can start applying Mr. Schiffman’s philosophies right away to get results.


If after reading this book, you still think I’m wrong, please answer me – what is a more effective tool?


All The Best,

Doug Dolan
The Solopreneur’s Guide


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