Best Sales Questions to Ask on a Sales Call (Examples Included)

Justin McGill posted this in the Sales Skills Category
Reading Time: 18 minutes

I remember hopping on a sales call, feeling great because it was a good sized opportunity, and felt we had a great chance of meeting their needs for a lead gen tool. 

I got the rapport building going early, but then completely blanked on all my sales questions. 

Ever since, I began writing down the sales questions to ask on every sales call, so I could be sure that never happened again. 

best sales questions to ask on a sales call

These are the best sales questions to ask on a sales call to advance the relationship.

Now in my situation above, luckily, the rapport building was good enough and the product won them over anyway, but that won’t always work out. 

It’s happened to sales rep and early stage founder.

You dial the number, get a hold of the lead for a qualifying call, and start having the conversation. Things are moving along and — BOOM! — you don’t know how to proceed.

It’s because you don’t know the best sales questions to ask on a sales call.

There are different sales calls. Your first call might just be a prospecting call to a lead. Then, you need to qualify prospects, and finally you can move to the demo/presentation stage. 

I am going to cover the best sales questions to ask for every sales call stage you are in. 

But first things first…

Before you can have sales calls, you need to have leads to reach out to. If you’re wanting to scale your prospecting efforts, that’s what LeadFuze is for! 

LeadFuze is a software solution that helps you build lists of accurate leads automatically, while integrating with sales outreach tools to allow you to contact those freshly verified leads.

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Qualifying Questions and Examples

Qualifying a lead is a delicate balance between your natural ability to move a conversation and a predetermined set of things to find out.

Qualifying questions are designed to help you efficiently collect specific and useful information.

They’re a critical tool. Correctly used, they will help you to:

  • Determine if you have a viable prospect
  • Identify potential roadblocks in the sales process
  • Discover a prospect’s needs
  • Plan an effective close
  • Estimate the prospect’s price points
  • Uncover your competition
  • Establish who the decision makers are

You already know that sales is a numbers game. Based on your talents and product, you close a certain percentage of sales. The more you present, the more you close.

There are two ways to improve. Get better or make more calls.

Using qualifying questions will help you do both.

I’m going to give you 13 qualifying questions you can start implementing right away.

By the end, you should be able to find prospects and ask the right sales questions to move the conversation along. 

I’m going to cover 13 general qualifying questions.

This isn’t a quick list, my friends. We’re going to talk about each one.

You don’t need lists of qualifying questions, they’re all just different versions of the same basic questions. You need to understand what their intent is and what the answers received mean.

A little coaching tip for beginners: Under most circumstances, you should not recite your qualifying questions.

There are a couple scenarios where an interview is ok (analyticals and assertive people sometimes prefer it), but you want to avoid it if at all possible.

Brush up on your basic personality types and how to approach each one.

Construct your information seeking around the type of client you’re dealing with.

If you aren’t doing this already, you’re putting yourself at a disadvantage.

Remember, use your voice and your words to make the questions flow in the conversation. If your prospect recognizes probing… their guard will go up.

A Quick Word on Using the Questions

First, we need to talk for a second about extracting the data.

Yes, you’re trying to gauge how likely they are to buying.

But this isn’t accomplished by simply asking questions and listening to the answer.

This may sound a little woo woo, but there is always an answer behind the answer. Click To Tweet

And getting it sometimes requires follow-ups.

If you’re too scripted, you’ll just move on to the next question and possibly miss out on the things that will actually close deals. You have to be careful to listen and keep asking until you understand.

best sales questions to ask on a sales call

Let’s do a little example question before we get to the rest.

“What might cause you to change suppliers?”

A classic question that gets some pretty typical answers.

“If it costs less.” or “If another solution had X or Y feature?”

Those answers aren’t going to move the conversation along, but they could give you an opportunity to find out more.

Follow-ups are needed to set them up a bit.

  • “Does your current solution solve X or Y well enough for you?”
  • “How well do you think [solution] has been implemented?”
  • “Is it living up to expectations?”

Getting answers for all of these questions under the framework of “changing suppliers” does several things.

  • Really gets to the reasons they may switch.
  • Reduces confidence in their current solution.
  • Allows you to warm the lead by expressing the strong points of your product.
  • Gives you insights into how they view the need and use of both the pain and solutions to it.

Bottom Line: All of the questions you ask should be connected to the goal of qualifying a lead and each question should have a follow-up or two that help you dive deeper and get that valuable intel. All of our suggested questions will have some additional suggestions, too!

Savvy? Let’s go.

Here’s an infographic summary with all the qualifying question examples. I’ll break them down in more detail below.

qualifying questions

1How long have you worked here?

We’ll start with a couple ice-breakers. Ice-breakers help to size up your prospect. Watch for clues that identify their personality type. Assertive alpha types and analytical introverts are easy to spot. Others can be more subtle.

Keep casual chit chat going for a bit.

You’ll learn something about how to approach the more difficult subjects.

Ice-breakers will often lead to information given without prompting. In this example, it wouldn’t be odd for your prospect to reply:

20 years. I was in sales for 10 and I’ve been the marketing director for the last 10.’

That’s quality information right there. Your prospect is likely a decision maker and they’ve got sales experience. That helps… don’t try any cheap tactics.

2Personal question ice-breaker.

Yeah, I know. That’s not a question. If you don’t get anywhere with your first ice-breaker or you want to try for more, take a look around the office.

Do you see a lot of personal touches? Family photos, hobbies, awards or certificates? Anything you can relate to?

If there’s a lot of information on the walls and desk then chances are it’s ok to bring some of it up.

I see your kayaking photo there. I’m out on the water every weekend. Do you go often?’.

Personal questions might not expose budgetary or timeline information. They will still help you to narrow down their personality and mood.

This allows you to work out the best strategy for moving forward. You can also build rapport. Common interests can give you an advantage.

Personal questions may not expose budgetary or timeline information, but they'll still help you narrow down their personality and mood. Click To Tweet

Your niche and the flow of conversation will usually dictate the order that they come in.

Try to use the questions that could disqualify the client quickly so that you waste no time. Yours or theirs.

At this point, with any luck, you’ve got a little back and forth going. You’ve started to form an idea on how to move forward with your prospect.

3How are you involved with the use of this product?

This is a great early question if your prospect is knowledgeable. People love to sound smart. Let them talk, show positive listening traits, encourage them to continue. Ask relevant questions. Getting your client to explain their direct involvement can reveal extremely useful information.

It can:

  • Showcase the decision maker’s personal thoughts on your product or a comparable one.
  • Identify features that your prospect is unfamiliar with.
  • Identify bottlenecks in your competitor’s product that your prospect is unfamiliar with (that your product can correct!).
  • Keep your client talking. The more they talk, the more you learn.

4What are you currently using?

Again, word this to fit your product. Producing a quality pitch and close is much easier when you know what your client is currently using. Like any skilled salesperson, you’ll positively compare your product to its different competitors. Right?

This can also shed some light on the financials. Are they using some nickel and dime, small dollar stuff? Are you packing the Ferrari of your industry?

You might be barking up the wrong tree.

Maybe they’ve got a lot of bells and whistles. They’re clearly spending some money in your niche. Now you know you probably won’t scare them with your high quality, high priced wares.

5What’s your budget?

If only it were that easy. Well, sometimes it is. Know when to be direct and when to be a little more coy. Did the prospect give you clues that their current spending may be much lower than your service costs? It’s probably time to be direct… respectfully. Try something like…

‘Are you making some big changes? You’d be stepping up into a much higher price class.’

If the client isn’t aware of the cost, this will let them know that they might be out of their depths.

But it makes no assumptions.

It leaves the door open to the possibility that they are aware of the cost difference already.

Don’t offend. You’re a stranger. People can be sensitive.

Even professionals.

If they weren’t aware, and can’t afford it, then you saved yourself a bunch of time. Disqualify and move on.

If they acknowledge that they’re aware, carry on.

They’re making changes and you’ve got information to collect. Find out what the changes are. See if those changes would make them a reasonable prospect.

If they don’t, be more clear.

‘Based on what I’ve learned so far, you’re probably looking at (amount here, give a wide range) per (whatever). But I’ll need some more information before we get into that.’

If they get beyond that statement, then do your job. Work in some “yes” questions like:

‘Does this sound like what you’re looking for?’
or ‘Have I covered your concerns so far?’

All while you show your stuff.

Be sure to do your homework before getting into finances. Get some idea of their needs before diving in.

6Will anyone else be working with us? AKA are you the big dog?

Be inclusive! You might not know who you’re speaking to. Use terms like…

  • Are you the only person that I’ll be working with?
  • Will anyone else be joining us?
  • Aside from us, does anyone else need to see this presentation?
  • Before we get to the important stuff, anyone else we should conference in? (phone)
  • Do we need anyone from Finance, Operations, or Marketing before we get started?

Have a prepared folder to store your customer notes and information. Inside the cover of the folder, put a list that says “Who to call”. Beneath that list things like billing questions, creative questions, approval questions, technical questions. Put blank lines next to each. Try something like…

‘During this process and then after you’re up and running, I’ll have questions about these different areas. Will I be going through you for everything or do you know who my contacts will be?’

Sometimes you don’t get to pitch to the decision maker. It happens. If you’ve realized that it’s happening to you, be strong with features and benefits. This person will be selling for you. Less focus on financials (though qualify them), more focus on the product.

7What challenges are you having with your current product?

Be careful with this one. If this is a cold call, they may very well say ‘none’. Yecch.

I find it’s best to use the process question above. Have them explain how their process works. It will help you identify opportunities they don’t know about.

They may also voluntarily share bottlenecks and preferred features. Many times, you’ll be able to get this information without having to flat out ask for it.

Still, you might not get a very good description of what they’re doing and then you’ll have to ask. Try things like…

‘If you were to replace your current plan, what would you like to see improved?’

8Have you been through this process before?

The main point of this question, and others like it, is to identify potential roadblocks. If your client has been down this road before, did they have difficulties? Were there things they didn’t like? Use the information gathered to better prepare yourself to avoid those situations.

Maybe your product avoids those issues altogether. That’s a focus point later.

9What are you currently spending?

Money questions are fun. Most experienced buyers will see right through the tactics you use. But at some point, you’ve got to cross that bridge.

Are they not giving you an opening to work into their budget? You can always try:

‘We’ve got a full range of features for all size businesses. Can you tell me what you’re currently investing in your service? Is it fulfilling your needs? That’ll help me figure out which packages will get you a better ROI.’

It’s simple, straightforward, and polite.

10Why are you making this change?

Have they even decided to make a change?

First, determine that the customer is actually in the market for your product or service. Then, use this question to help you gather feature and benefit information. They may be changing due to growth. It could be because they’re dissatisfied with their current product.

Find out and figure out how your product makes that change better for them.

11Are there any features of other products that you’re particularly impressed by? Which is most important?

How do your features compare to your competitors? Can you present your product in a favorable light?

Other salespeople may have impressed your prospect with a feature that you have. Maybe yours is even better. Know your product!

Jabir Mohamed, founder of Search Beast Digital Marketing Agency, says, “Know your product like you know yourself. Be the expert that instills confidence in your prospect. The confidence that they have found their solution.”

This question can tell you who your competition is. It can also tell you where you need to focus on your feature/benefit presentation.

12Where do you see this project leading in a year?

Just because the customer has told you what they need, doesn’t mean that they’ve told you what they expect.

Unreasonable goals are a serious issue, particularly if you’re building long-term relationships. If your customer expects something that you know your product cannot deliver… tell them! Find out how they arrived at that expectation and see where the problem is. Can you solve it?

Keep expectations reasonable and clearly outline the prospects part in reaching their goals.

This doesn’t apply as much with a one-off sale type niche. Provided you’ve explained the capabilities and potential returns on your product.

13What is your target date?

This is an underrated question. It can do a lot for you. Answers with immediacy or a specific nearby date could mean that you’ve got a buyer who is ready to spend. If you’ve got a good feel for their budget, it’s time to dazzle.

Answers that are more ambiguous aren’t always a bad sign. But it could mean they’re just window shopping. They’re not quite committed yet. Dial up the confidence and sell those benefits.

If a prospect is too far out, let’s say a year.

Suggest going over their needs and gathering information. Try setting up a presentation in six months.

Keep in touch. You don’t want your competition closing them next month.
Ask strategic questions that get you the information you need with the least amount of probing. Click To Tweet

Keep your tools sharp. Be product smart and confident. Ask strategic questions that get you the information you need with the least amount of probing. Be sure to leave your battle proven qualifying tips in the comments. See you there.

Tips

  • Roleplay. Out loud.
  • Qualifying questions are a road map each often leading to others. When used skillfully, your client is far less likely to feel defensive.
  • Avoid interviewing. People are less defensive when engaged in naturally-flowing organic conversations.
  • Know your personality types. They’ll help you determine the most suitable way to get the information that you need. If you aren’t trained, check out this post, then learn as much as you can. It’s invaluable.
  • Be results-oriented. Work toward qualifying your customer quickly. Ten minutes wasted is far better than two hours.

Our List of Best Sales Questions to Ask on a Sales Call

These engaging sales questions are open-ended and meant to start a dialogue.

You should NOT just stick to these questions. They aren’t just powerful open-ended sales questions, they are probing questions that allow you to go further… and you should. 

Otherwise, you’ll sound like someone on a mission to get through their list of questions.

Open-Ended Sales Question #1: What’s it like living in/next to [insert weather, landmark, or natural marker] all the time?

best sales questions to ask on a sales call

For instance, “I see you’re in Ohio. What’s it like living with the cold winters out there? We don’t have those here in Arizona.”

Or, “You’re that close to the beaches in Destin; you have to go there all the time, right?”

You may be wondering why the first question doesn’t have anything to do with sales.

Rapport makes or breaks a call.

If you can’t build some sort of connection, you won’t get anywhere.

This is another reason that you don’t want to just crank out a list of memorized questions.

There are dozens of ways you can build some red (if you don’t like the geographic approach).

You have to make them listen and that makes questions like those essential to any “best” list.

Bonus Resource: Here’s a massive list of over 60 rapport-building questions.

Open-Ended Sales Question #2: What are your top [business/industry] priorities right now?

best sales questions to ask on a sales call

Still in rapport building territory here, but you’re starting to switch things into the right place.

Finding where a decision maker’s head is can be a huge tell or how likely they are to buy in the near future.

If you ask this and they tell you about some focus that has nothing to do with your solution—it could be a short call.

If their priority is one of your product’s features—jackpot.

Potential Follow-up: Do you have a current solution for this issue?

Open-Ended Sales Question #3: Are you having problems with [insert a couple of pain points] like some of our other clients?

best sales questions to ask on a sales call

If they weren’t forthcoming with anything that is related to what you’re selling, it’s time to throw out some bait.

Just ask them if they are having the common pains as others in the same industry.

When they answer; it’ll either be a ‘yes’ that you can dig into or a ‘no’.

Either one is good for you.

This is really the first meaty question. You’ve built up a bit of a connection and this one will tell you if it’s worth going forward or not.

Potential Follow-up: One of the best follow-up questions ever—”Can you tell me more about [insert the pain mentioned here]?”

Open-Ended Sales Question #4: Is your current solution not solving these as well as you would like?

best sales questions to ask on a sales call

It’s highly likely that your lead has some sort of a solution already.

That’s like hard ground that you’ll have to dig up in order to lay the foundation for the new product.

This question helps with this problem.

It’s also great for gauging how loyal they are to their current tool/service.

If they aren’t going to budge, it’ll likely come out here.

Listen closely to see if you can start to pry it loose in their mind. If not, you may want to move on.

Potential Follow-up: What made you choose this provider?

Open-Ended Sales Question #5: What would it do for your overall revenue/workflow/pain benefit if you could handle these issues more effectively?

best sales questions to ask on a sales call

Once you’ve seen a window for getting them to switch, it’s time to start gathering intel that will be used to close the deal.

The goal here is to tailor the “perfect world” you and the closer want to paint in order to get the lead to pull the trigger.

You know what they want, but some aspects may be more appealing to the prospect. It’s important to pay attention here to highlight those benefits in the future.

Potential Follow-up: What would be the biggest difference for your role personally?

Open-Ended Sales Question #6: How does the decision making look for a solution like this?

best sales questions to ask on a sales call

Pains, priorities, and roles are usually similar from one lead to the next. But buying processes are a different story.

Fiscal year and budgets are always different, a buying team may need to be constructed, varying levels of organization (or disorganization) exist.

There is no telling how long it may be before a lead, even if interested, would actually buy your gizmo.

But that’s why we ask the question, right?

Potential Follow-up: What are the specific steps in that process?

Open-Ended Sales Question #7: What concerns do you have about switching/implementing a new solution?

best sales questions to ask on a sales call

Just because they’ve made it this far doesn’t mean they want to switch.

The lead may not even like their current solution, but just don’t want to deal with the buying process they’ve just laid out—let alone implementing a totally new product. 

All of these are barriers that will be thrown up sooner or later. It’s better to get them talking about it now.

Pay close attention here, this is one of the last lines of defense many leads have before making a decision.

Potential Follow-up: Would any of those keep you from buying, despite finding a better solution?

Open-Ended Sales Question #8: How comfortable are you with saying no to me?

best sales questions to ask on a sales call

We have to give credit where it’s due. John Barrows wrote a piece for Sales Hacker and included this question (among others)—and it’s genius.

So many leads have no intention of buying, but will sit on the phone with you and sound interested.

They’ll politely answer your questions and then, when you ask them to set a time for a future call—they say yes!

You get excited and when the time for the call comes…crickets. Let them know that you want to figure out if their brand is a fit. If yes, great!

If not, that’s great too. At this point in the convo, they’ve heard you enough to know.

The sooner they’re gone the better if it wasn’t going to work.

Potential Follow-up: Seriously, just let me know if you’re not interested—ok?

…let them know you are cool with them telling you ‘no’ then they are more likely to stop the process sooner with you if you really aren’t the right fit.” — John Barrows

Open-Ended Sales Question #9: What if we could set up a strategy call to explain how to implement and use our [product/service] for the maximum benefit?

best sales questions to ask on a sales call

If the call gets to this point, you have enough data to give to the closer (or use yourself) to get the deal.

Prospects will have shown themselves by now and it’s time to set a sales qualified appointment (SQA).

If they’re a suspect (not interesting in buying), they’ll probably run scared at this point. A question like this isn’t a softball, but it’s time to get a demo on the books.

Potential Follow-up: Would you have [insert typical demo call length] to potentially solve the [insert pain] we talked about?

Open-Ended Sales Question #10: At the end of that call will you give us a firm answer?

best sales questions to ask on a sales call

If you’re really feeling lucky, ask for a committed answer at the end of the demo.

Someone would be naive to think that they weren’t going to be hard-pitched on the next call.

Asking if they’ll make a commitment either way sets the tone for your closer. It’s also the last protection against those who aren’t qualified to go to close.

If a suspect has made it here, it’s kind of like climbing to the top of a crazy tall water slide.

Asking a question like this is the equivalent of a chicken exit. If they’re not ready to plunge—they’ll get off the ride.

Time to Mine the Data

Asking open-ended questions lead to quality discussions, rapport building, and insight that your team can use.

Write everything down while it’s fresh in your mind by having a 5 minute debrief after every good call.

Write everything down while it's fresh in your mind by having a 5 minute debrief after every good call Click To Tweet

It’s best to have a process for getting the notes from the call to your closers (or yourself to review before the demo).

It's best to have a process for getting the notes from the call to your closers Click To Tweet

Typically, things like these will fit nicely into most customer relationship management software. 

Here are five critical sales questions that you should start asking during presentations

A study published in the Harvard Business Review reveals that after interviewing 200 customers, researchers found that “from the customer’s point of view, the greatest need for improvement is in salespeople’s knowledge of the customer’s business and industry.”

It’s not surprising that 71% of B2B customers are not engaged, according to data from Gallup.

Sales reps can rise above the competition by asking five critical sales questions.

A couple of these I mentioned earlier, but I want to explore them now from a different perspective and with the help of some supportive data.

1 How Does the Decision-Making Process Work?

Selling is time-consuming. An increasingly complex buyer journey has elongated the sales cycle. Therefore, you need to know that you’re talking to someone in a position to make a decision.

Asking about the decision-making process clarifies who you should be speaking with. This question also reveals who the influencers are and how the chain of command is organized.

Understanding the circle of decision-makers is critical given that the number of people involved in a buying decision is increasing. In many cases, you will face five to seven decision makers. Each has personal leanings. Each has a unique understanding of the problem and perception of what constitutes a viable solution.

You need this list because it will take time to address each person. Every decision maker involved represents a mini sales cycle within the larger sales cycle.

This point is illustrated in Richardson’s depiction of the new buyer’s journey.

sales questions

Few sales professionals ask this question because they fear offending the customer. They fear they may insult their contact if that person is outside the orbit of decision makers. This fear is understandable.

Therefore, the sales professional must ask the question in a respectful manner. For example, they could ask their contact “who in the company supports this solution?” Then, sales professionals can ask, “What is the next step in the decision process?” You can also ask your contact if they know how the CEO feels about the solution given that a person at that level will always have influence over the decision.  

2 How Does This Compare with Other Solutions You’re Considering?

Competition is always present. Even if there is no clear competitor, there is always the status quo looming over the sale.

Uncertainty keeps the status quo firmly rooted in place. In fact, the Global Economic Policy Uncertainty Index is at its second-highest point since measurement started more than 20 years ago. Businesses are uncertain about the future economy.

sales questions

Therefore, you must get a read of how the solution you’re providing stacks up against the competition, or the status quo. The solution must not only meet the customer’s needs, it must exceed the competitor’s capabilities.

This question is not an opportunity to diminish the competition. It is a way to understand where the customer is in the buying process and what kinds of solutions interest them. This information allows you to draw contrasts between your solution and the competitor’s solution in a tactful manner.

For example, you can ask how well the competitor’s solution handles an aspect of the business challenge that you know is better solved with your solution.

Consider different versions of this question, like, “How well does this address your needs?” Or you can ask, “How far are you in the buying process?” These are relationship questions that help you see where you’re positioned in the race. They reveal your strengths and weaknesses relative to others vying for the customer’s business.

3 How Does This Solution Fit into the Big Picture of the Business?

To understand the customer’s business, you need the ground-level view and the 30,000-foot view. Big-picture questions like this offer the 30,000-foot view.

The more you understand how the solution connects to the overall business, the better you will be able to position it. However, too many sales professionals avoid this question. Some feel it is too intrusive. Others believe it is a request for sensitive strategic information. In truth, the question serves the customer by ensuring that the solution is relevant.

Without having the details from the customer, you risk presenting the wrong solutions, destabilizing the sale and risking your credibility. Click To Tweet

For example, you might think that the customer needs one solution from your offering when, in fact, they need a different one. Knowing this information early is critical. Without this detail from the customer, you risk presenting the wrong solutions, which destabilizes the sale and risks your credibility in future opportunities.

Many buyers are rushed. They may answer the question in one brief sentence offering little detail. It is your job to respond to short answers with more questions. You can follow up with questions like, “What is your vision for the company?” You can ask, “How do you plan to grow the business?” The key is to understand what is driving the company.

If the customer needs a solution, it means they are interested in solving a challenge or increasing their existing capabilities. To know which is the case, you must ask about the big picture.  

4 What Would Your Ideal Situation Be?

The question reveals why the customer is pursuing a solution. Understanding the customer’s ultimate goal allows you to not only position the solution in their terms, it also offers opportunities to expand the scope of business.

This “need” question brings you closer to the customer’s thinking. It puts you in their world. This closeness is important because research covering 141 companies across ten industries found that “customer intimacy becomes a more vital performance driver” as solutions become more commodified.

This question is important because customers often discuss needs in terms of solutions. They state what they want and expect. However, they don’t often articulate what precipitated these wants. By asking the customer about their ideal situation, you get a wider view of their needs.

Moreover, this question signals your focus on the long term and devotion to a relationship that is more than transactional. A long-term approach is critical to success. Consider research from McKinsey indicating that companies with a long-term focus “outperform their shorter-term peers on a range of key economic and financial metrics.”

sales questions

Finally, this question helps customers overcome misperceptions of what they need. Richardson’s 2019 Selling Challenges Research Study found that “overcoming buyers’ misperceptions of what they need” was the second-biggest challenge to understanding customer needs.

Often, the customer’s idea of a solution comes before fully realizing the challenge. Asking about their ideal situation helps customers clarify their understanding of the hurdle and helps you shape their thinking.

5 May I Ask How You Arrived at That Expected Price?

You have entered negotiations once the customer asks you about pricing. Often, customers will enter this phase early and ask for pricing upfront before answering any sales questions.

You can't successfully negotiate without first understanding the customer’s needs and demonstrating your value. Click To Tweet

You cannot successfully negotiate without first understanding the customer’s needs and demonstrating your value. Therefore, explain to the customer that you can discuss pricing as soon as you get a few more details. If the customer presses for a “ballpark” figure, remind them that to provide a number, you need a bit more information.

Once you get to specific numbers you can expect resistance. Often, customers will remark that they expect a lower figure. Rather than take a defensive position, ask them how they arrived at that number.

Questions like this help convert demands to needs. Doing so is important because demands can only be satisfied in one way, which is to give in. A need, however, can be met in several ways. By asking how the customer arrived at an expected price, you’re exploring the underlying need.

Asking the comparison question ensures that the customer is making an apples-to-apples comparison. This approach politely reasserts the value of your solution and preserves the financial scope of the sale.

Conclusion

Successful selling hinges on not only asking questions but asking the right questions. The time in front on the customer is short and difficult to earn. You must make the most of this time by getting to the questions that matter.

These questions are a request to peer into the customer’s business.

Therefore, be sure to reciprocate by offering transparency. Share information of your own.

Doing so will encourage the customer to be more forthcoming in their answers. Additionally, it will build trust.

Research published in The Open Psychology Journal showed that “information alone was found to have a significant impact on the perceptions of ability and integrity.” Put this finding to good use.  

Remember, the answers to each of these sales questions offer a path to closing the sale. 

The responses tell you what the customer needs and why they need it. With that information, you’re able to position the solution in a way that speaks to these stated needs and circumstances.

Asking the right questions should be part of your sales process starting immediately.

This post was put together with the help of Jean Francia, a business associate of an SEO service company based in Canada — searchbeast.ca, and Laura Morrison. 

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Editors Note:

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