Making Money

Sell more by being the person with the answers

Everybody in business is haunted by the same question: How can I sell more? I’m sure right off the top of your head you can list several ways to rocket your sales–reduce prices, advertise more, increase your visibility.

But how about this classic way to sell more of your product or service: Be the person with the answers. When a customer has a question, they don’t hesitate to ask you for your ideas and opinions.

In many cases, even if your competitors are beating you on every other point, you can grab the sale if YOU are the person who can answer the customer’s questions.

I’ve used this simple rule of selling for years. Go to my web site and see what I have in the right upper corner where you can’t miss it. “Free Advice! Kevin always provides free advice. Email for fast response.”

And boy does this strategy work. People ask questions covering just about everything, from how to advertise to what kind of business they should start. I answer to best of my ability, rarely taking more than a couple of paragraphs in an email.

Sometimes I have to do a little poking around to come up with an answer, but the effort almost always pays off. Most people who ask questions come back to buy something. They see me as responsive, helpful, and in-the-know.

This doesn’t just work for small businesses like mine. You’ll see Wal-Mart and Home Depot encourage their employees to offer answers and advice whenever possible, even if it means sending the customer to another store where they can find the particular item they want. People come back to the place that answers their questions.

How do you become the powerful Answer Person? It’s easy. You probably already know an awful lot about the business you are in. Find out more by spending a weekend afternoon in one of those comfortable chairs at your local library. Read what experts have written in books and magazines. Bounce their ideas off your own experience to come up with even better ideas.

Even in complicated or technical fields, answering customer and prospect questions isn’t as hard as it looks because people always ask the same questions. You may stumble the first time you hear the question, but once you find the answer, you will have it ready for the next person who asks it..and they WILL ask it.

What if you have absolutely no idea how to answer a question? Point the person to somebody else who may have the answer. The customer will still give you credit for being in the know.

And surprisingly, there is no shame in saying “You stumped me this time. I don’t know.” People will usually thank you for your response anyway.

You can build your image as the Answer Person by putting a questions and answer area on your web site. Also include a few questions and answers in your newsletter.

I once created several dozen separate web pages, each one with a different question and its answer. Then I registered the pages with search engines. For years, when somebody searched with one of the questions, they found one of my “DrNunley Answers” pages linking to my site.

About the author
Kevin Nunley provides no-cost marketing advice. He also writes sales letters, web copy, and press releases fast and at low cost. See all his marketing and writing deals at Send your question to him at