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If You Were Stuck on a Desert Island...

This is a "if you were stuck on a desert island" kind of question:

If you could only use three questions with all of your future prospects for the rest of your sales career, what would those three questions be? - by Skip Anderson
"This is a "if you were stuck on a desert island" kind of question:

If you could only use three questions with all of your future prospects for the rest of your sales career, what would those three questions be?" -- Skip

1. Do you want this product or not?

2. Is that something you want to have happen?

3. Do you want me to call back in three months?

MitchM - by MitchM
If you could only use three questions with all of your future prospects for the rest of your sales career, what would those three questions be?
1. What do you want?
2. When do you want it?
3. What is your budget? - by realtor
1.is that for her or to go? 2. would you like fries with that? 3.what would you like to drink? hey, i sell by asking questions,lots of them. giving me only three questions is like giving me a car with only 3 wheels,unless i can figure out how to turn it into a bicycle with a spare tire,i'll be going round"n"round in circles.
- by easyrider1
1.is that for her or to go? 2. would you like fries with that? 3.what would you like to drink? hey, i sell by asking questions,lots of them. giving me only three questions is like giving me a car with only 3 wheels,unless i can figure out how to turn it into a bicycle with a spare tire,i'll be going round"n"round in circles.
I know, e.r, limiting questions to three is very difficult. But I was hoping to find out what questions various salespeople see as their "go to" questions. - by Skip Anderson
1. What are you trying to accomplish?
2. How much are you willing to spend?
3. Cash, check or credit card? ;bg

Pat - by toolguy_35
Well, I have read all the posts above and I want to say there is one thing that is bothering me. There are two types of questions, what you might call OPEN or OPEN ENDED and CLOSED or CLOSED ENDED. And questions are often referred to as "probes" as well.

And the reason why I bring this up is;

As sales people, we want to let the prospect tell us what they want. Yes, to some degree we want to steer the discussion and earn the right to expect an answer (meaning use some tact/grace) but if we are limited to only three, then they must be open as this type allows the prospect to tell you what they think. CLOSED probes or questions limit the response and are most often used to confirm information ... not to uncover it in the first place.

If we are to sell, we must of course know what they want (need or desire). And there is no way of finding that out through closed probes, certainly not if we are limited to only 3 ... so, with only three to choose from they are going to be OPEN for sure.

I will start by giving you an examples from the ones above that are closed; Is that something you want to have happen? And; Do you want this product or not? I only bring this up because you can see, all the prospect can say to us is YES or NO to these. Of course, if the answer is "No" the you can ask "Why not" and they will talk.

Here are three open probe/question types as examples ...

One that begins the sales process;

Mr/Ms. _______________, tell me if you will, what challenges are you currently experiencing in your business/with your sales staff?

Now, an example of one that allows the prospect to continue if they are talking freely (I actually include two, which are probably the most effective probes there are!);

Can you tell me more about that (or; "Oh, why not?")?

A closed probe that confirms whether or not you have the order;

This copier is larger than the one you are replacing, so that we are certain it is not oversize for your available office space, can you show me where you might like to position it?

The last I chose the copier industry (hey, you sales trainers, you did not think I was going to give away my secrets in regards to closing a sales training account, did you?). Subtle isn't it??? Hopefully this example will be thought provoking enough for you and give you a clue within your own industry.

As for this as an exercise, yes, it is almost impossible to conduct a sales call on just three probes. But does that really make this difficult as a training effort? If selling is asking questions and listening to what the prospect needs as a critical portion of our performing art, if this is what we do, asking lots of them, then surely, each of us must have at least three GREAT ones. No?

In reality there would need to be at least one question to get the prospect talking, usually one to confirm an uncovered need, to make sure you understand it clearly, and at least one to close. If a sale was built on just a single accepted benefit, then it is possible to close in three. Though you would usually be searching for another benefit, meaning asking more but, it is possible there simply aren't any others for some products. Nevertheless, even if there was only one, in practice I cannot ever remembering any sales call concluding so simply. Having said all that, what a great thought provoking thread Skip.

Excellent indeed. Everyone should put their best effort into this thread, it is one of the most practical I have seen in this forum.

A good one for a sales meeting too. Put it out to your staff, maybe via email, have them submit three each prior to the next meeting. Tell them the winner will get a prize and that every other question, if discussed, will remain anonymous!

Oh, I gotta steal that idea! - by Gold Calling
Administrator's Note: Post(s) inconsistent with the spirit of the community removed. - by Jeff Blackwell
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