Sales Tip – Clarify and Confirm

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This will be the first of, hopefully, a weekly post devoted to short and simple sales tips. Where appropriate, we will also sneak in references to how this will apply in social selling situations. Thanks for visiting!

We’ve all been here. You ask a salesperson a question and before you have even gotten that question completely out, they are already off to the races answering … something that was not even related to your question. Then they merrily move along to the next part of their pitch. Now, be honest about this. How many of us will stop that person and raise the issue that this was not even remotely related to the question that you posed? The answer is … damn few. More likely, we just walk away and try to find someone who does listen. For our salesperson, this results in an immediate, and unnecessary sales loss.

It all starts with listening and that means that you need to control your need to jump in an take over the conversation. For some that is easy. For many, deep breaths  (or a gag) may be needed.

Once your customer has completely their question, your first job is to clarify that you have a correct understanding of the question. Something like this … “I really want to make sure that I understand your question. Is it ….? or “I’m not sure that I really understood your question. Could you expound on that for me please?”

The next step is, of course, to answer that question. However, we also want to make sure that we answered it to the satisfaction of our customer. We want to “confirm”. It’s pretty easy … “Did that answer your question or do we need to talk about it a little more?”

This much I promise you … your customer will love you! Not only that, you have probably already separated yourself from your competitors as very few folks I know do this correctly. This is also the recommended format in handling objections. Always remember that an objection is not necessarily even an objection but, that is the topic for another post.

Author: Craig M. Jamieson

Craig M. Jamieson is a lifelong B2B salesperson, manager, owner, and a networking enthusiast. Adaptive Business Services provides solutions related to the sales professional including Boise's best B2B leads groups, NetWorks! Boise Valley. We are a Nimble SCRM and a HootSuite Solution Partner and a Value Added Associate for TTI Performance Systems. Craig also conducts training and workshops primarily in social selling.