One of the essential ingredients of delivery in the Wickman Method of Dialogue Selling is the use of questions. When Floyd demonstrates selling skills he points out that you rarely hear him make more than one or two statements without following up with a question.
In fact, all of the tracks and dialogues we teach in The Floyd Wickman Program are nothing more or less than a series of questions. Why is that? Because the proper use of questions creates three fundamental conditions necessary for a successful sale.
That's right, I said the proper use of questions. In the wrong hands, questions can be weaponized to manipulate, con, confuse and alienate. The next time you get a robo-call trying to sell you something, notice how many questions you get bludgeoned with. This is what stops a sale in its tracks. The wrong kind of questions lead to inattention and suspicion. What's the end result? Procrastination and indecision. Exactly what great salespeople want to avoid.
Instead, Floyd teaches us to use a different kind of question. Almost like magic, these open the mind, create engagement and build trust.
Floyd says, "Minds are like parachutes. They work best when they are open." A well-formed question will cause your prospect or client to consider your proposition without feeling maneuvered into it.
Once minds are open, well-formed questions create two-way conversation. Engagement with your prospect or client lets you listen, observe, respond, reflect and pay attention to them. When people feel listened to, they feel safe, and that makes trust possible.
A few examples of 'magic' questions to open the mind:
To a potential referral source in your Book of Business: "If I asked you to, would you have any reservations about recommending me to a friend or family member who has a real estate need?"
To a For Sale By Owner: "If you knew for a fact that your net cash in pocket would be the same amount whether I sell your house for you, or you sell it on your own, and I could prove it, is there any compelling reason why you would need to do all the work yourself?"
To an Expired Listing: "I stopped by to make sure you're not planning to put your house back on the market any time soon. You're not, are you?"
To any potential Seller: "If we could put our heads together and come up with a price we can both live with, would there be anything preventing you from letting me handle things?"
In all four questions, the answer you want is, "No." No opens the mind. Allowing people to say no up-front makes them feel safe and in control. It is less threatening and manipulative than steering people into a yes answer. The next time you are crafting your approach to a prospect or client, think about framing your questions in such a way that the first answer you want is no.
Fear of "NO" can be crippling. Instead, embrace "NO" as the gateway to engagement and trust.
The Floyd Wickman Team blog by Mike Pallin