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Do you believe this to be true about buyers?

What are your thoughts about the following:
Most buyers ask the wrong questions. They do that because they don’t know the right questions.
- by Gary A Boye
What are your thoughts about the following:
Most buyers ask the wrong questions. They do that because they don’t know the right questions.
What is a "buyers wrong question?" If the buyer asks the wrong questions, shouldn't the sales person look in his toolbox for the right questions.. or actually maybe that's a skill now... but whatever... What is the salesguy doing?

Aloha... :cool: - by rattus58
Could be a good topic. - by Ace Coldiron
What are your thoughts about the following:
Most buyers ask the wrong questions. They do that because they don’t know the right questions.
Great observation Gary and so true. We all have to start somewhere. - by Jeff Blackwell
It seems to me that we have to define what the "right" and "wrong" questions are. We have:

1. Questions that the prospect asks, presumably because they're important to the prospect (or maybe because they don't know what else to do, or they're bored). These are "the right" questions from the prospect's perspective.

2. Questions that the salesperson wish the prospect would ask, because the salesperson thinks those are the key questions that the prospect should want answered. These are the "right questions" from the salesperson's perspective.

3. Questions that both the prospect and the salesperson want to be asked and answered. These certainly are "the right" questions.

4. Questions that would be helpful to be asked and answered, but are not on the radar screen of either the salesperson or prospect. These are the right questions, too.

Having said that, I agree with the spirit of your question, Gary. I think the answer is probably "I believe this to be sometimes true."

Skip Anderson - by Skip Anderson
It seems to me that we have to define what the "right" and "wrong" questions are. We have:

1. Questions that the prospect asks, presumably because they're important to the prospect (or maybe because they don't know what else to do, or they're bored). These are "the right" questions from the prospect's perspective.

2. Questions that the salesperson wish the prospect would ask, because the salesperson thinks those are the key questions that the prospect should want answered. These are the "right questions" from the salesperson's perspective.

3. Questions that both the prospect and the salesperson want to be asked and answered. These certainly are "the right" questions.

4. Questions that would be helpful to be asked and answered, but are not on the radar screen of either the salesperson or prospect. These are the right questions, too.

Having said that, I agree with the spirit of your question, Gary. I think the answer is probably "I believe this to be sometimes true."

Skip Anderson
When someone has a real need, like a broken waterline, or toilet or stove, something YOU have to fix and haven't fixed before and are looking for answers and instruction as to what to buy, how it works, how it installs are in my opinion the "right kind of questions".

Questions that advance understanding of the product or process between seller and buyer are to me the right questions.

Much Aloha.... :cool: - by rattus58
Isn't it my responsibility to guide the client to ask the proper questions and then answer the questions?

My person opinion is the only wrong question is the one that is not asked. - by rich34232
I met such case as well.Sometimes maybe the buyer is not the guy who use it. - by heweimei
Buyers don't ask good or the right or important quesitons because they don't know what to ask - they have limited understanding of things. I did terrible research until I turned 50 then I began researching so I could buy with some answers and questins ready.

When a seller begins to ask me great questions trying to understand what I want first I'm very attentive hoping this is the place to buy.

MitchM - by MitchM
In my experience, there are only two reasons customers ask questions....(1) they don't know, and they want to know if you know, and (2, more likely) they know...they want to know if you know. Not knowing, and being forthcoming about it, does not diminish your credibility, but B.S'ing them does. - by David Mack
In my experience, there are only two reasons customers ask questions....(1) they don't know, and they want to know if you know, and (2, more likely) they know...they want to know if you know. Not knowing, and being forthcoming about it, does not diminish your credibility, but B.S'ing them does.
A third and common reason is that they are "coached" or "programmed" by others in their life, past or present, who have given them questions to ask. For that reason, many questions are out of context. It is important for those who are learning sales to be aware of that common behavour. A study of transactional analysis can help. - by Gary A Boye
They ask the questions they "think" they should ask.

These are mostly just rituals that have evolved as customers 'wised up' to pushy salepeople who have a reputation for ripping people off.

Want an example?

Customer buying a used car asks 'how many previous owners?'

The actual answer doesn't really matter (I mean in reality it doesn't matter....the car could have had 5 extremely thoughtful and careful owners....or just 1 owner who abused it every day)

So the answer deoan't really matter but ritual dictates that the question MUST be asked.

The proof of this is when the new owner gets the car home and the 'all knowing' neighbour says...'did you ask how many previous owners it's had?'

Imagine how stupid you'd feel if your answer is....'er...no I didn't think to ask....duh'

So....there are many questions they MUST ask.....but many of them don't require an answer. - by helisell
Perhaps I'm feeling too philosophical today but I believe that there are four levels of awareness:

I know that I know
I don't know that I know
I know that I don't know
I don't even know that I don't know (total ignorance)

Buyers ask the wrong questions only when in the fourth (total ignorance) state. - by DaveB
Perhaps I'm feeling too philosophical today but I believe that there are four levels of awareness:

I know that I know
I don't know that I know
I know that I don't know
I don't even know that I don't know (total ignorance)

Buyers ask the wrong questions only when in the fourth (total ignorance) state.
;bg I'm not disagreeing, I'm just trying to figure it out.... "I don't even know that I don't know (total ignorance).

Aloha... :cool: - by rattus58
Confusing, I know. Let me try again:

1. I am very knowledgeable on the topic, and I am consciously aware of all the facts. (I know that I know)

2. I am so intimately familiar with the subject that I employ and leverage the knowledge without even realizing it. ( I don't know what I know)

3. I am pretty ignorant on the topic but I have learned enough to know what questions to ask and know where the gaps in my knowledge are. (I know that I don't know)

4. I am so ignorant on the topic that I don't even know what questions to ask. (I don't even know what I don't know) - by DaveB
Confusing, I know. Let me try again:

1. I am very knowledgeable on the topic, and I am consciously aware of all the facts. (I know that I know)

2. I am so intimately familiar with the subject that I employ and leverage the knowledge without even realizing it. ( I don't know what I know)

3. I am pretty ignorant on the topic but I have learned enough to know what questions to ask and know where the gaps in my knowledge are. (I know that I don't know)

4. I am so ignorant on the topic that I don't even know what questions to ask. (I don't even know what I don't know)
I guess the question is why would I have to know, why would I want to know, what prompted me to be in the situation to discovere that I don't know even what I don't know about something. ;bg

Aloha... :cool: - by rattus58
Perhaps I'm feeling too philosophical today but I believe that there are four levels of awareness:

I know that I know
I don't know that I know
I know that I don't know
I don't even know that I don't know (total ignorance)

Buyers ask the wrong questions only when in the fourth (total ignorance) state.
You're referring to Dr. Maxwell Maltz' Four Stages of Learning as taught in "Psycho-Cybernetics" or "The New Psycho-Cybernetics"
  1. Unconscious Incompetence
  2. Conscious Incompetence
  3. Conscious Competence
  4. Unconscious Competence

The level of the questions the prospect asks is very telling of how far along in the sales cycle they are - even if that cycle was initiated by another salesperson. It kind of gives you an idea of how much work you've got to do.

The more informed they are about the benefit to themselves, the easier it is to sell them.

Since they tell you that much in a question, I don't think it's wrong of them to ask at all... - by MarcEnriquez
You're referring to Dr. Maxwell Maltz' Four Stages of Learning as taught in "Psycho-Cybernetics" or "The New Psycho-Cybernetics"
  1. Unconscious Incompetence
  2. Conscious Incompetence
  3. Conscious Competence
  4. Unconscious Competence
The level of the questions the prospect asks is very telling of how far along in the sales cycle they are - even if that cycle was initiated by another salesperson. It kind of gives you an idea of how much work you've got to do.

The more informed they are about the benefit to themselves, the easier it is to sell them.

Since they tell you that much in a question, I don't think it's wrong of them to ask at all...
I don't see the direct correlation between the bulleted list and what you are describing as the sales cycle.

For instance, if the sales cycle is initiated by another salesperson the chances of appropriate and correct information is random at best. If the pertinent information is missing according to your own selling process, you would have to start from scratch. As a matter of fact, you are always better off starting from the beginning regardless of what you think the prospect has learned previously.

Also the level of questions asked by the prospect is not a reliable indicator of how far along in the sales process he/she is. There are too many other variables including comprehension skills, attention span, and circumstantial limitations on attention.

This is coming up over and over again. You should NOT jump ahead in the sales process, and assumption is usually the cause of that mistake. - by Gary A Boye
What are your thoughts about the following:
Most buyers ask the wrong questions. They do that because they donít know the right questions.
I don't believe it is the buyers job to ask the right questions... but rather it is up to the salesmen to ask useful questions which will eventually allow him to create value. - by MrCharisma
I don't believe it is the buyers job to ask the right questions... but rather it is up to the salesmen to ask useful questions which will eventually allow him to create value.
I believe buyers for corporations are paid to ask the right questions and are accountable for doing so. So--YES--it IS their job.

How well they do their job, or how reliable the standard questions given them by their management, if any, are different matters. - by Gary A Boye
I believe buyers for corporations are paid to ask the right questions and are accountable for doing so. So--YES--it IS their job.

How well they do their job, or how reliable the standard questions given them by their management, if any, are different matters.
Perhaps more information was required when speaking about a buyer. Depending on your individual field, some people (like myself) instantly assumed a buyer as B2C because they make up a majority of the market.

Should the buyer not ask enough of their own questions, that says to me that they have done their research and have no objections or concerns prior to purchase. In the world we live in, a lot more buyers are making their own independent research prior to the contact of a sales representative.'

You are right though in your context, a buyer looking to buy a corporation should ask questions and lots of useful questions. - by MrCharisma
you can never really be certain if the customer is asking the right , wrong or good question. some are extremely limited in understanding their own need, or of your product and relating the product to thier need, so they need more education or to be more enlightened, or probably need to know if you know enough to solve their needs. so just handle the questions as well as you can. - by temitope
If a buyer is asking the "wrong" questions that means you, as the salesperson, have identified that your customer doesn't know much about his problem or else doesn't know much about the solutions for that problem. It's a good situation for a salesperson to be in and the time to start asking about the buyers need. What does he think his probem is and what does he know about solutions for that problem? These questions offer a great opportunity for a salesperson to deliver genuine value simply by clarifying the customer's circumstances. That's the foundation where solutions and sales really start. - by ToddR
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