karina Collis

66 questions

to navigate a sales process and to close any sale fast

By Karina Collis, February 2020

How to navigate and close any sale
by asking the right questions

What is the most critical skill of anyone who communicates to others to persuade and influence them?

I always ask this question during my sales training courses that I run all over Europe, and the answers vary from "being nice and likeable" to "being analytical and strategic". Here is another perspective:

To master the art of persuasion and to close any sale, you need to learn the skill of asking questions.

I emphasise that this is a skill, i.e. an ability to do it well through gained knowledge and practice. It means that everyone, who needs to be persuasive in sales, can master it.
So why questions drive sales forward more effectively
than any other form of dialogue?

There are three main reasons.
Firstly, questions get your prospect talking, which helps you understand his needs and challenges.
Isn't it what you want to know first in order to tailor your pitch and offer the right solutions?
Secondly, questions maintain attention.
A recent study found that since we entered the era of smartphones, our attention span has fallen to 8 seconds! How much information can you deliver in 8 seconds? I bet not much, unless you speak too fast (which does not help anyway). By asking questions, you engage with your counterpart, and as a result, you control his or her attention
Finally, only questions, not reasons, persuade.
By and large, you can never convince people of anything; you can only ask the right questions which will allow people to convince themselves.

I'd like to remind you that sales is a process and you are a project manager in this process. Like a sherpa guide leads you through the rocky Everest to arrive to the top, you need to lead your prospects through the sales process. How do you do it? By asking the right questions!
Two women talking to each other in their office

I have been leading hundreds of complex sales with contract values of up to $1bn, I observed my colleagues doing the same, I've read hundreds of books on effective selling and followed opinions of the experts.

All these allowed me to create
unique sale process map driven by the right questions.

Following these steps and asking the right questions will help you navigate and close any sale! And remember, asking questions is a skill, and the only way to improve and become a master of it is by constant practicing! Everywhere! At work but also at home!
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Are you in B2B sales? Are you asking yourself how to shorten your sales process and thus rapidly accelerate your sales? My article, Seven Golden Rules for Shortening Your Sales Cycle, can provide you with essential tips about how to best achieve this. Read it here: https://www.liinea.com/blog/shortensalescycle

As a thank you for reading this article, I would like to share a fantastic source for sales knowledge: https://blog.zoominfo.com/2018-sales-articles/. Here you will find 10 most read sales articles that cover many important subjects like sales pressure, cold calling and closing fast. Happy selling!

Karina Collis
I work with start-ups in the tech sector, coaching them to generate sales and increase business growth. More specifically, I help to structure sales processes, develop international sales, and improve both the sales and investor pitch. Please do not hesitate to get in touch, as I am more than happy to share some examples of successful enterprise sales that I have coached.
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