Welcome to the Top 5 Percenter™ Blog

Do-Re-Mi: The 7 Notes of the Sales Question Scale

by | Customer Success, Sales & Marketing, Sales Process

Anyone who has seen The Sound of Music knows there are seven notes in the musical scale, from ‘do’ (a deer) to ‘ti’ (a drink with jam and bread). But do your salespeople know about the seven notes on the sales question scale?

Not all questions are the same. Just as the different notes of that musical scale carry us step by step through the octave, the questions in an effective sales process should carry the process forward, step by step, from the opening question to the closing handshake.

‘DO’—Break the preoccupation with rate
Nothing will be accomplished until the prospective client has made the transition from rate-focused to value-focused. So the first question in the scale must be “Are you looking for the best rate or the best value?”—followed by an explanation of the difference.

‘RE’—Situational questions
These are the basic, relevant-to-product questions that need asking. “How long do you intend to live in this house?” is an example of a situational question.

‘MI’—Needs questions
This is where we head for the emotional heart of the matter. “Why did you start this business?” and “What are the greatest challenges you face in your business?” are needs questions.

‘FA’—Relationship questions
These are the third-date questions—time to talk about your blossoming relationship: “What’s important to you in a banking relationship?” “What would you have changed about your relationship with your previous bank?” Here’s your chance to figure out how the previous beau blew it by not caring enough about her needs, leaving the seat up, etc.

‘SO’—Positioning questions
Time to drive home your own unique qualities: “How important is it to you to [fill in the blank with your own Unique Selling Proposition]?” If you’ve managed the question scale well to this point, this is the moment the prospective client puts the close fit between her needs and your product into words.

‘LA’—The presentation
At this point the salesperson will have sufficient information to make concrete recommendations. “Based on what you’re telling me, I’m going to make some recommendations. You mentioned [need] was important to you, so I’m going to recommend [solution]. You also mentioned [need] was important, so I’ll also recommend [solution].”

‘TI’—The closing question
There is only one closing question you’ll ever need and it doesn’t even feel salesy. “Do you have any further questions or would you like to get started?

Salespeople are often so eager to display their wares that they skip straight to the presentation. The prospective client, still stuck in a preoccupation with rate, hears just a single note, hammered over and over—and walks out of the concert!

By playing all seven different notes of the question scale, your salespeople will find themselves and their clients making beautiful music together.

More From The Blog

You Deserve More and Better [VIDEO]

Are you tired of accepting or being bound by limiting beliefs?     Today, we're going to blow up the biggest limiting belief in banking. It's so bad that it keeps you...

Master the Four Levels of USPs [VIDEO]

What if you can use extreme differentiation to get 150 basis points or more on the loan side and improve your deposit pricing at the same time?   If you're the kind of...

Stop Matching the Competition [VIDEO]

You deserve to get paid more. Rate matching is the most destructive force in community banking today. And because of it, as a community bank, you are underpaid for the...

How to tie everyone to PROFIT [VIDEO]

Does every team member on your team know how they tie to profit? I mean really know? When a study published in Businessweek revealed they had asked 6,000 employees, "Do...

Who Made Up THAT Rule? [VIDEO]

Everyone has patterns of disbelief. Some people believe that in politics, there is one side or the other, and they're unwilling to look at the alternative. Still others...