I have no idea where the saying “curiosity killed the cat” came from. What I do know from witnessing it many times is that LACK of curiosity can kill a sales opportunity.
With the pressures of sales targets, more competition, better prepared buyers and other expectations placed on sales people, most don’t feel that they have time to be curious and ask great questions. Many still rely on features and benefits and pre-rehearsed ‘pitches’ that they tee-up in pre-prepared messaging.
Rather than engage in dialogue, they ‘spray and pray’ with monologues that exclude the customer or client, and limit their options. Starting with a blank canvass and being curious gives a number of advantages.
When you have an early stage sales conversation, think of it as you and your prospect exploring new territory together. You’re collaborating in order to find out what their problems to be resolved or results to be achieved are, and how they can best be solved. So, your goal is to mutually find a solution, not to get them to buy your solution (at least not usually in a first or second meeting).
A curious sales person with the right intent (to help the prospect succeed) can afford to question far deeper than Mr. or Mrs. ‘Average’ sales person. They can be confident to ensure their needs analysis discussions are comprehensive, and not stop as soon as they hear something that resonates with a solution in mind.
I know this is counterintuitive to many sales people, but the reality is that if you adopt this approach you’ll more likely be seen as an expert and gain trust, you’ll get more information than the ‘know it all’ approach, and you’ll close bigger deals, and more of them.
If Curiosity prevails, there is good Client Centricity, and an awareness of the Social Styles of the prospects in question, it is far easier to effectively leverage good techniques and tools to ensure effective sales calls… every time.