Learning to Ask Better Questions

John Scott
Posted by in Career Advice

When it comes to selling your company's product or service offerings, you might think that pushing its features and benefits to your prospects is the key to getting the sale. In truth, you are much more likely to woo your potential client with effective sales questions that get her to open up about the sales challenges she faces on a day-to-day basis.

According to a recent article from Nexxt, many business professionals ask their potential clients questions that solicit negative responses. For example, asking a business owner what reservations she might have about your services or products is a question that puts her in a negative, defensive frame of mind. On the other hand, asking her a series of effective sales questions puts her in a positive frame of mind, which in turn opens the door to her seeing your product or service as superior to your competitors.

Which effective sales questions should you use to unearth her sales challenges? According to sales strategist and bestselling-author Mark Wayshak, memorizing these five effective sales questions puts you in control of your pitch as they open your client's mind to hiring you to fulfill a pressing need.

The first question Wayshak recommends is, "Tell me about your challenges?" You of course want to ask this question in relation to the situation at hand. Selling group life insurance? Tailor the question to uncover her group life insurance challenges. The second question, "Can I have an example of this challenge?" pushes the door of communication wide open and puts you on a more personal level with her. "Can you tell me how much this challenge is costing you?" is the next logical question that alerts you to how motivated your prospect is to immediately fix this problem.

The fourth question, "Exactly what would it mean to you to solve this challenge," paints a positive mental picture of overcoming the problem in the client's mind. The final effective sales question, "What do you want to accomplish in terms of the big picture?" gives you the opportunity to show her services or products that can help her both in the short- and long-term.

If you do not secure the sale at the end of the first pitch, the answers to these effective sales questions help you to form a deeper bond with the potential client that ultimately puts you in the position to close the sale at a later date.

Memorize these five highly effective sales questions, and naturally work them into every one of your initial sales presentations. Remember to individualize each question to match your prospect's business. While these questions help you discover her needs, listening and responding appropriately gives you the trust and respect you need to lock down the sale.


(Photo courtesy of Ambro / freedigitalphotos.net)


Become a member to take advantage of more features, like commenting and voting.

Jobs to Watch