Open-ended questions are wonderfully helpful for connecting with people. For those who sell, they're critical (as long as you listen).
They help you gather information, qualify sales opportunities, and establish rapport, trust, and credibility.
As a sales professional, it’s important to have 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.
The key here...
Ask the question and let the prospect/ customer give you their answer.
In case you’ve not had the opportunity to write down your open-ended favorites, below are 30 of ours. You should have several additional questions specific to your industry, but these will get you more than started.
Write down the ones you find valuable. Memorize them with your team. Practice them on your drive in or on the way to your next appointment. Print them out. Post them near your phone. Pass them on to your team.
Top 30 open-ended questions
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?
ESTABLISHING RAPPORT, TRUST & CREDIBILITY
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?
Now go sell something.
(remember: no leading … no prompting … no interrupting … really.)