Ask, what do you attribute that to

Prospects usually have some idea what is causing the problem they need to get fixed. Most salespeople focus on getting more information about the problem and that is very important. Really weak salespeople immediately jump to discussing their solution to the problem. However, one of the most important questions you can ask is “so, what do you attribute that to?” This gives you insight into what the prospect thinks the cause of the problem is. Now, the prospect may or may not be right. But the important thing is to know what they think the cause is and hence where the solution lies. If you believe that the prospect is wrong, you can address that with more questions in the discovery phase. This tactic prevents you from proposing a solution that is off base from the prospect’s point of view and it eliminates objections before they happen. If the prospect turns out to be wrong, then you have probably differentiated yourself from your competitors. This approach is much better than coming up with a solution which you then have to defend causing you to lose credibility with the prospect.

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