A simple question, right? Yes. But, very powerful. So many salespeople and sales managers have well-planned, beautifully-executed meetings, but inadvertently leave some of the most useful information on the table simply because they forget to ask this simple, shared-control question that can reveal the real priorities for the person with whom they are speaking.
So, when would you ask this question?
For salespeople, it would fall near the end of every conversation you have with prospects about trends, insights, changes, challenges, or opportunities. Your questions may be right on target, and hopefully show your preparation and knowledge of the prospect’s business, but that is no guarantee you covered everything that is important.
This simple, shared-control question will tell you quickly if you have identified all issues affecting the business or not. In the field, I've seen that when a salesperson poses this question near the end of the discovery process, about 30% of the time there IS something else the prospect wants to talk about. That’s not a bad reflection on the sales process to that point, but rather a confirmation that important issues are not always mentioned in the responses to specific questions. Wouldn’t it be a tragedy to walk away from a “good” meeting without that essential information?
For sales managers, this shared-control approach makes sense near the end of any individual focus meeting with a salesperson. The manager may do a brilliant job of learning about developments and changes with key accounts as well as provide helpful coaching for progress on each target account, but failing to ask questions like, "Is there anything else we should be talking about?" could leave them not knowing about a substantive item that needs to be addressed.
“Yes, there is one more thing. I feel like I am working harder and getting fewer appointments.” That is something a salesperson needs help with and may not bring up except in response to a shared-control question like this.
Ask any time.
You think that is an exaggeration? Once you develop the habit of asking a shared-control question like this, every one of your meetings will be better. It doesn’t have to sound contrived. Fold it into the conversation. “Monique, this has been a great meeting, and I’ve enjoyed hearing about your progress with these accounts. Is there anything else we should be talking about?”
Just try it. After about ten times, I bet you will be hooked, and those you interact with will be very happy you asked!