Home > Interview > What is the best sales question you have heard?

What is the best sales question you have heard?

As a sales expert you get to hear all of the questions good and bad that your clients are using in the field. Have you heard any that you thought were great that other salespeople should be using? - by Community Mailbox
Depending on the Product or Service that you're selling, 3 great Questions to ask when they say they are happy with their present situation would be;
"Tell me the 3 things you like best about the (product) (service) (company) you're using now."
"If you had a Magic Wand, what are 2 or 3 things you might want to change?"
"Why would those be important to you?"
Many times these will help bring out a need or a problem that they either didn't realize they had or they weren't being completely honest with you in the first place.

Have a "FANTA$TIC" Future!
Stan Billue, CSP - by Stan Billue
"Why..." (Why do you say that?; Why do you feel that way? Why do you think that?; Why is that important?; etc.)

Happy questioning,

Skip - by Skip Anderson
As a sales expert you get to hear all of the questions good and bad that your clients are using in the field. Have you heard any that you thought were great that other salespeople should be using?
One I learned many years ago, and cannot remember WHO suggested it, was positioned as a power question for the concern, "Your price is too high." If it is appropriate, ask, "Compared to what?" When I have used this question I have had people go from a total blank on their face to an actual comparison that then allowed me to answer the prospects concern. - by patweber
"Tell me more about that..."

Keeps your contact talking, giving more information about their situation so you can better describe the fit of your solution. - by sfrenkel
I agree with Skip. One, simple question: Why?

Another way to ask this is, "what is the reason for _______?"

Usually, when people tell you about their problem or the "top 3 things they want," this is not REALLY what is going on. You need to get to the root, or cause, of things--only then are you at the emotional level where there is enough reason to make a change. - by Jake Atwood
Though a mildly commandatory request, it serves as a question:

"Tell me what you're thinking."

If you format it as a question, i.e., "What are you thinking.", it could be misinterpreted as offensive. "Tell me what you're thinking." is strong and can be highly engaging. - by Ace Coldiron
Questions that don't limit the responses are the best, as they ALLOW the prospect to talk. These are called OPEN PROBES ...

Limiting the responses is a closed probe, like when you want to confirm that you understood what a prospect mentioned while talking freely.

As crazy as this sounds to newbies, sometimes even WHY is complicated ... my favorite is "Oh?" or "Oh really" ... or course, this only works with those who are talking freely.

To me, this thread invites comments that are all over the map. Questions above include an about handling an objection, several are open probes used in uncovering needs/pain ... how about one that confirms that the prospect bought?

"If I CAN guarantee our results, meaning we can show you how we can increase your profit or we do not produce an invoice, then when would be convenient to go ahead with the two week - two man assessment we've been discussing, how is November 21st or would you prefer right after Thanksgiving?" - by Gold Calling
While not disagreeing with anything here said, the most important question to me is "may I have a few minutes of your time to get your opinion on... "

I like getting in front of a buyer as much as possible... apart from that, Feldman's let me put it together for you is an assumptive I guess that seems to work well as a "shall we go ahead with this then...

I'm still perplexed as to how I close... and I write stuff down EVERY MEETING... sales when they happen, just seem to happen and I'm not sure why... and when I figure it out, I'll have a #1 seller... but..

One of the things I've noticed with great salespeople is that the sales process is one of searching for one of two things mostly... problems/challenges or desires and then creating an environment that solves or satisfies those needs or desires...

I'm still new in the sales game even though I've been in it for 40 years, and I get new revelations every day.. one being the internet.. a whole new thread.. :)

Aloha... Tom - by rattus58
Converting the prospect's objection (procrastination, normally) into a question.

Example:

Prospect: "Let me think about it".
Salesperson: "Sure, but just so that I may know, can you please tell me what aspect of my offer you need to think about? May be, I could clarify if I knew."

Ganesan. - by ezynes
Converting the prospect's objection (procrastination, normally) into a question.

Example:

Prospect: "Let me think about it".
Salesperson: "Sure, but just so that I may know, can you please tell me what aspect of my offer you need to think about? May be, I could clarify if I knew."

Ganesan.
Ganesan, I have two questions for you. I'm familiar with that response to the "think it over objection" because it is often taught in training courses.

First, do you believe prospect's are usually REALLY going to "think about it" as in the context of "consider"?

Second, do you believe your question is 100 percent honest?

By "honest" I mean is it a question used as an attempt to truly gain information rather than to challenge the prospect's request that they be allowed to think about it (which is really no request at all, of course.). - by Gary A Boye
Gary,

From my experience, I have found that most prospects procrastinate because they're afraid of taking a wrong decision. This is true not just in sales situations; most people want to avoid deciding about shifting their homes, quitting for better prospects, deciding which university to join,... you name it.

The purpose of this question is NOT necessarily ONLY to understand what they want to think about (though it could well be true in some cases).

When you ask an un-offensive question (that's why we re-phrase their answer into a question; they can't usually take offense to repeating what they just said in the form of a clarification), making people think what they want to think about, you give them a chance to avoid procrastination.

At least some people, when they run out of ideas to procrastinate, when faced with the reality, they make bold and move forward.

While objection handling sometimes helps clarify things to the salesperson, some other times, it does help clarify things to the prospect himself/ herself even before an answer is given. I see nothing wrong in this.

I certainly won't call it dishonest by any stretch of imagination. We should not give distorted meanings to words and use those words to demean people on the basis of the distorted meanings.

Ganesan. - by ezynes
I certainly won't call it dishonest by any stretch of imagination. We should not give distorted meanings to words and use those words to demean people on the basis of the distorted meanings.

Ganesan.
I agree wholeheartedly with your point about the reason many people procrastinate ("afraid of taking a wrong decision").

However, I can't agree with an inference that qualifying my use of the word "honest" was an attempt to demean. In fact, I inserted that qualification for the purpose of making sure that it was not to reflect on any character issues.

A discussion that includes the word "honest" does not have to cover dishonesty, and the moral baggage it carries, anymore than a report of a heat wave needs to include references to below zero temperatures in Alaska.

Here is what I said:
By "honest" I mean is it a question used as an attempt to truly gain information rather than to challenge the prospect's request that they be allowed to think about it (which is really no request at all, of course.).
It is a core belief of mine that the best and most effective questions in selling are authentic attempts to gain information. I focus a lot on that topic, because I believe it needs much focus.

The thread's title is: "What is the best sales question you have heard?"

I have heard a lot of good questions, and I ask a lot of good questions. I chose to discuss here Why is a Good Question Good. As I'm sure you know, the WHY is often more important than the WHAT. - by Gary A Boye
Gary,

Thanks for the clarifications.

I was concerned about being seen as "not so honest", though I do (and did) understand the sense in which you'd used the term.

Ganesan. - by ezynes
Gary,

Thanks for the clarifications.

I was concerned about being seen as "not so honest", though I do (and did) understand the sense in which you'd used the term.

Ganesan.
Your concern was warranted. All of us are at the mercy of the reader's perception. Although you understood my use of the term, others could misinterpret my post wrongly. - by Gary A Boye
Weekly Updates!
Questions and Answers about Selling
Subscribe to our mailing list to get threads and posts sent to your email address weekly - Free of Charge.