Like talk show hosts, sales people need answers: Stephen Pead

Peady’s Selling Engagement sponsored by IRD Prospector

The recent retirement of David Letterman from The Late Show reminded me of another talk show host, Regis Philbin

Regis Philbin is really well known is the US for his morning television talk shows. In his autobiography “How I Got This Way” he devotes a chapter to his friend, Charles Grodin another talk show host and author. Philbin describes him as “a person who needs answers, no matter the topic.” 

When you think about it that’s really the core of selling isn’t it; needing answers? 

So how do we become like Charles Grodin? What do we have to do to get the answers? 

Asking questions gets answers; obviously, but there are useful high value questions and useless time wasting questions! 

Useless questions such as: 

        –  “Are you the decision maker?”

        –  “What are your needs?”

        –  “So tell me about your business”

        –  “Do you know much about our radio station?”

        –  “What will it take to get your business?”

        –  “Would you be interested in saving money?”

        –  “Can I knock together a quick proposal for you?”

Those at the top of their game know that if they ask thought provoking questions they’ll be given more productive answers.
Great questions like:

“If there were no restrictions, what business difficulties would you like to remove?” “How would you like to see your business change over the next 6-12 months?” 

“Can you describe the decision making steps to implement this proposal?” “What alternatives are you currently considering?” 

“What types of advertising have you found to be most successful in the past?” “How do you generate sales leads or enquiries?”
“Would you paint me a picture of the average person who uses your product?” “Do you feel your website gives potential customers the right message?” When you work with your customers what do they expect from you?” 

“What makes your business different from your competitors?” “How does your main competitor win business from you?” 

Of course the real issue is finding questions that you are comfortable asking and that fit your prospect’s business. Part of that is to use what you already know and build on it. The other part is to develop and practice the questions that work best for you. 

Question is…will you do it? 


About the author 

Stephen Pead is a media industry veteran of 30 years with significant experience in direct sales, sales management and general management. He is based in Sydney and specialises in helping SME’s market their businesses more effectively and providing training for salespeople and sales managers.
He can be contacted at [email protected]