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MEMBERSHIP SELLING AND
SALES MANAGEMENT INSIGHTS

Was That a Trick Question?

Member prospects often ask questions that on the surface seem very straightforward. However, their questions don’t always mean what you thought. Thus, your answer could lead the conversation off track. “Was that a trick question” is a simple technique designed to help you make certain you understand the true nature of any question.

Illustration: A prospect may ask a seemingly simple question such as, “How many people attend your Business After Hours?” A typical reply sounds something like, “Over 100 business professionals attend every month!” The answer seems pretty straightforward. However, what if the prospect asked the question because s/he is not comfortable networking in big groups and prefers a more intimate setting?

Following is an example of how we utilize the “was that a trick question” technique to ensure we understand each question and respond accordingly.

Prospect: How many people attend your Business After Hours?

Member Rep: That’s a good question. I’m wondering why you asked.

Prospect: Well, I’m more comfortable in an intimate setting when I network.

Asking the simple question provides the clarity needed to provide a more suitable reply that helps the prospect meet his/her need.

Member Rep: I totally understand, many members feel the same way. Our larger events have over 100 attendees. However, if that is too many people, I’d be happy to tell you about other networking opportunities that are more intimate, including…

Always execute this technique delicately. We suggest a softening statement prior to asking your question. In the example above, the softening statement was, “That’s a good question.” Following are few more examples of softening statements followed by a question designed to shed light on the true meaning behind your prospects’ questions:

  • I’m glad you asked me that. What are you hoping to learn?
  • Many people ask me that. What are your thoughts?
  • I haven’t been asked that question in quite a while. Why is it important to you?
  • That’s an interesting question. What brought it up?

Without relevance, you can’t respond to questions in a way that helps prospects meet their needs. Consequently, you may lessen your chances of making the sale. The “was that a trick question” technique is a simple way to subtly uncover the underlying intent behind your prospects’ questions.

As always, we encourage you to practice this technique, make it your own, and let us know how it goes.

Remember, we’re easy to talk to. Feel free to reach out with questions about this technique or other issues.

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