How to ask the right sales questions

Posted by XO Accounting on Jan 20, 2020 10:00:00 AM

Sales is about addressing your customers’ needs and problems. By understanding the issues clients face, you can show them how your solution solves their problem.

Here are some tips for asking the right sales questions to better understand and help your customers.


1. Don’t jump into sales questions right away

Sales isn’t just about making a sale, although that’s certainly part of it. Sales is about building relationships. That’s how you make a sale today and encourage repeat business tomorrow.

When you start asking questions, don’t begin by asking questions about the sale specifically. Ask questions that develop a relationship and give you a chance to get to know the buyer better.

For example, ask questions about the business they represent and their goals in the long- and short-term.

After that, move into questions about the issues they face and what solutions they currently use. Find out what does and does not work about those solutions. That will help you develop an understanding of your potential customer, which in turn assists you in meeting their needs right now and anticipating future needs.


2. Ask open-ended questions

Open-ended questions will get you the answers you need to help you offer a solution. Closed-ended questions will only frustrate you and provide you with no additional information. For example, don’t ask: Is budget a consideration? Yes or no answers won’t help you here, because even if they say “no” what they could mean is “no, but within limits,” which really means “yes.”

Instead, ask “What sort of a budget are you looking at spending?” The customer will likely give you a range and may even talk about similar past purchases or similar products they are considering. Then you have a reference to frame your solution.


3. Listen to their answers

Once you’ve asked a question, really listen to their answer. Focus on understanding their needs and addressing them. If they say their main problem is that they run out of stock too quickly, don’t immediately launch into a pitch about how your products are lower cost. Talk about how your product addresses the issue of low stock. Once you’ve done that, then you can go into the additional benefits your product or solution offers.

Be careful not to run through a list of robotic, pre-programmed questions, either. Often, something a prospect says leaves room for further exploration. Take the opportunity to ask follow-up questions, not push your way through a list of pre-arranged queries.

That’s how you build valuable relationships with clients.


Final thoughts

Asking questions is a vital way to get important information from buyers by helping you understand their needs, priorities, and problems. By showing buyers you can listen to them and understand their needs, you build an important connection with them that will help you provide them solutions. That connection may also be what keeps them coming back to your business.



Topics: business, sales, small business


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