When you are in a selling situation every day, it is impressive how some prospects will volunteer the exact information that you are trying to get and yet others make it extremely difficult. Just remember that those situations where the opportunity is volunteering the accurate information can be deceptive. You nod and agree with the person and direct them to one of your solutions. Usually, you will get a sale. But you won't build a relationship, and you won't create a partnership. Those moments of incredible prospect cooperation, when it seems that you don't have to do anything to get the sale will generally end up to be a short term alliance. Without sales-relationship-training, the prospect is likely to purchase from the next salesperson that knocks on their door.
In every situation like this, it still pays to ask your questions to discover information from the prospect's history and find out how they make their buying decisions, discover their criteria and be able to tailor your offering to meet what they require. If you don't do this, your sales relationship with this particular prospect may only be one purchase. This means that you have worked hard to get in front of the outlook for the sake of one sale.
Everybody has their speech pattern but for certain things which are common in our society. We live in a country in which questions like, "How are you?" and "How's the business?" are very common as opening conversational gambits. The recipient of these questions does not regard them as anything else but part of the business ritual. Certainly, they are not seen as being requests for information. When were the last time you told someone exactly how you felt and the state of your emotional feelings when they asked, "How are you?"
There is a common complaint from foreigners who conduct business in this country. They often complain that Americans are insincere because they ask personal questions inquiring about a person's health or feelings but don't want to listen to the answer. For the rest of us, it's very easy to believe that the first few questions that we receive from another person at an initial meeting only require a sort of "default" answer and we mumble, "Good," "Okay," "Fine" or something like that.
To avoid this situation when you are at a sales meeting with a prospective client, and you sell sales training courses, try doing something a little bit different. Ask a question. The good question is, "Tell me, have you ever employed a sales trainer before for your sales force?" This sort of question will immediately focus your prospect because they have to answer a genuine question which is going to engage their brain and get away from the ritualistic responses and questions that are meaningless.