Sometimes, you have to walk into a freakin' wall before you get the whole lesson.
Most salespeople know that they need to uncover their prospect's needs, pain, compelling reasons to act, etc. rather than talk about how wonderful their solution is. Knowing and doing might be different, but most DO know it.
Many salespeople realize that in order to get people to answer their questions, they need to develop a level of trust and at least the beginnings of a relationship. That is one of the obstacles that I wrote about.
Very few salespeople can do what my client suggests to his friend in this article about opening up. He suggests, "opening up to Rick and answering his questions truthfully. If he doesn't know the real answer, he won't be able to know if he can really help you." Then he adds, "FYI - it was uncomfortable for me and I wrestled with the idea of 'why the hell should I tell a complete stranger that I'm horrible at what I do?'".
And that is the whole lesson! Prospects are people and people don't like to admit how bad it is. It might be pride. It might be arrogance. It might be that they're trying to stay in their comfort zone. Remember also the #1 sales challenge. They don't WANT to trust you.
Unfortunately, if you want to have good customers, they have to trust you enough to tell you the whole truth as well as their deepest, darkest fear if you can't help them.
Yesterday, I told a client that we needed to be sure that we weren't going to be part of the problem by settling for half truths. This morning a prospect got upset with me because I wasn't immediately sure that I wanted a lifetime relationship with him. Be cautious. If you don't think that you understand, ask again. If they don't want you to understand, find another customer.
BTW, if you want to talk about ways to get them to open up, try this.