Moms are skillful at peeling away drama and words to get to the heart of kids perceived “issue.” Likewise a seller must do the same. You must root in and bring to light what’s really going on so you both gains clarity about their situation and the next steps.
Your instrument is questions. Open ended ones. Not the kind that invite a simple yes or no. Better to begin your questions with: who, what, where, when, how?
Leave out “why” because it can be an antagonizing—if it’s not done in just the right tone at just the right time the wall will come up. Here’s a few of my favorite questions I find effective to use during my preliminary meetings.
1) What’s worrying you about your current situation?
2) How long has it been going on?
3) How have you tried to turn it around?
4) Where do see this going if no action is taken?
5) What have you tried so far that’s worked?
These are just five but there can be thirty or more questions that will work for your kind you and your needs. Be sure to always ask, listen, dig, diagnose and learn so you can understand and know what to emphasize and what will have the most meaning to the customer. Once you are clear you can offer a fix, cure or hope and advance to the close.