Open-ended questions are one of the most important tools for those who sell (as long as you listen).
They help you gather information, qualify sales opportunities, and establish rapport, trust and credibility.
If you consider yourself a professional, own (absolutely know) a repertoire of powerful open-ended questions … questions that are answered by more than a simple yes or no … questions where the prospect / customer gets directly involved in the sales discussion.
Ask the question and let the prospect/ customer give you their answer.
Just in case you’ve not had the opportunity to put yours down in writing, here are some of our favorites. You should have several additional questions specific to your industry, but these’ll get you more than started.
- What prompted you / your company to look into this?
- What are your expectations / requirements for this product/ service?
- What process did you go through to determine your needs?
- How do you see this happening?
- What is it that you’d like to see accomplished?
- With whom have you had success in the past?
- With whom have you had difficulties in the past?
- Can you help me understand that a little better?
- What does that mean?
- How does that process work now?
- What challenges does that process create?
- What challenges has that created in the past?
- What are the best things about that process?
- What other items should we discuss?
- What do you see as the next action steps?
- What is your timeline for implementing / purchasing this type of service / product?
- What other data points should we know before moving forward?
- What budget has been established for this?
- What are your thoughts?
- Who else is involved in this decision?
- What could make this no longer a priority?
- What’s changed since we last talked?
- What concerns do you have?
- How did you get involved in…?
- What kind of challenges are you facing?
- What’s the most important priority to you with this? Why?
- What other issues are important to you?
- What would you like to see improved?
- How do you measure that?