Many times sales is taught as how to repeat the perfect script in order to impress the customer with features and benefits of a product so as to have them want to buy it.
Asking the customer questions about their needs is a much more effective way of starting off a sales conversation. The three areas where the questions should be centered are:
Current Situation: What is the customer experiencing currently that the product can help solve. This is a simple who, what, where, and why type of questioning.
Problems they are facing: A customer in only going to buy a product if they think it’s going to solve an issue they currently have. The better you understand what that issue is, the better you can tailor your sales conversation to detail how the problem and solution fit together.
Implications of not fixing the problem: In many sales situations, the customer likes and maybe even wants the product but they are worried about making that final commitment. Asking the customer to describe the implications of delaying or not solving the problem is a good way of getting them over their inertia. If a customer realizes that a solution is strongly needed, they are more likely to make that final decision.