How to Channel Your Inner Socrates and Close More Sales
November 19, 2019 by Scott Graham


Sales people often view their job as a series of hurdles to overcome before the finish line is crossed. Count the number of times you hear “no” before getting a “yes.” Match the tone of the potential customer and carefully observe their body language. What if the secret to being a good leader and sales rep was just to be able to ask better questions?

Who knew a philosopher who died more than 2,000 years ago could help, but Socrates was a salesperson of his own and his methods are as relevant today as they were in ancient Greece. He is quoted today not just in college philosophy classes but also business schools.

Making good decisions is the key to any successful business venture and making good decisions depends on asking the right questions, says Michael Lindenmayer in his article “Ask Great Questions: Leadership skills of Socrates.”

“This ancient philosopher holds the key to an essential leadership skill: ask great questions. The challenge is that too few leaders, managers and employees ask great questions. This is a big problem. Cultures that embrace a culture of questioning thrive and those that fear it either fail or are doomed to mediocrity,” argues Lindenmayer in Forbes.

Some of the methods he suggests are:

  • Leaders need to humble themselves, leave their egos at the door.
  • Empower everyone to ask questions.
  • Remember it’s a quest for the best answer which may not be yours.

Our Socratic Selling Skills® program, aimed at salespeople and their managers, updates and applies the proven dialogue techniques developed 2,400 years ago to maximize sales.

Working on their own sales accounts, participants apply new ways to plan high-potential sales calls, initiate dialogue, uncover needs, handle objections, remove barriers, and close the sale by solidifying customer relationships. Frequent video-recorded rehearsals allow peers and the instructor to offer supportive advice as sales skills are refined.

The end results are:

  • Greater ease in all sales interactions.
  • Increased close rates.
  • Deeper customer relationships that insulate against economic downturns, competition, and personnel changes.
  • Reduced cost of selling.
  • Improved sales force morale.
  • Reduced costs for turnover and recruiting.

This program can be delivered at your location by one of Communispond’s certified sales coaches or you can certify one of your trainers to deliver the program in house.