Sorry Zig, Jim Kemp says No to leading closing questions

Sorry Zig, Jim Kemp says No to leading closing questions

In my interview with negotiation expert Jim Camp, I was surprised when he stated that the leading closing questions I had learned in my first sales book, Zig Ziglar’s Secrets to Closing the Sale, were not effective in negotiations. Some examples of these questions are: “Don’t you think this is the coolest thing you’ve ever seen? Don’t you think that would really make you happy? Isn’t that something you feel you should do? does that excite you? Aren’t you excited about that?”

So why don’t these questions work in negotiations? It’s too easy for the other side to say no, and then where are you? You end up stuttering and tripping over yourself because you were caught off guard.

But don’t people usually answer yes to these questions? Of course, but what is their motivation. Do they really agree or do they not want to hurt your feelings by saying no? They try to avoid the conflict of saying no to someone. But it just creates resentment in their minds that they have been put on the spot.

Instead of verb-led questions, Jim Camp suggests using interrogative questions that can only elicit a detailed answer from the other person.

For example, instead of asking “Doesn’t this excite you,” try asking “What would excite you about a product like this?”

Instead of asking “Isn’t this something you should do,” try asking “What do you think you should do?”

The answers you get to these questions will be much more indicative of the direction you should take the negotiations. Instead of getting a forced yes, you now have real information to work with.

The purpose of your questioning should be to create a vision in the other person’s mind. Ideally, you want to create a look that includes your product or service.

Your solution to potential customers will be based on their vision of the problem. By asking the right questions, you’ll form a vision in their mind of a suitable outcome, and at the same time, you’ll be able to see if what you’re offering fits.

You may end up finding that their vision is not at all aligned with what you can help with. In such a case, it is your responsibility to be honest about it and end the negotiation or offer an alternative solution.

However, if you see that what you can offer will help, you should follow up with questions that allow the person to see where your offer fits into their vision. Once you do this, you have become a master negotiator. How will you apply this to your business?

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