It may seem counter-intuitive, and it's definitely counter to traditional sales. One of the concepts we have in Sandler is that of the pain funnel. While traditional sales asks questions to get more yes's, Sandler asks questions to get more pain.
Putting a prospect through the pain funnel is all about asking questions to gather information, regardless of what that information is. As a salesperson, your value to your organization is in how much information you gather, not how much you dispense. Which means your pay is based on that very same thing.
And those questions should reveal pain!
In fact, one of our un-numbered rules is, "No pain, no sale." In other words, if your questions don't uncover an emotional reason for doing business, a pain, then you shouldn't sell the prospect anything.
Because if you do the pain funnel correctly, neither person knows what the outcome will be until you get there. It may be that doing business together makes sense, but it may be that it doesn't.
I've gone through this time and time again when talking to business owners about working with Sandler. If it makes sense for us to spend some time in conversation, I put them through the pain funnel. And neither I nor they really know what's going to come out of that pain funnel.
Of course, it can be challenging to put a prospect through the pain funnel after you first learn about it. Not because it's uncomfortable for them, although it may be. Really, it's a challenge because it's you'll be uncomfortable. But have the guts to ask those uncomfortable questions.
Really dig for the emotional reason people want or even need to do business with you. And be ready for anything, because you never know what the outcome will be.