Powerful Open-Ended Sales Questions
Strong, Open-Ended Sales Questions
A great salesperson prospers due to his or her arsenal of tools. Open-ended questions are one of the tools that will take your selling game to the next level. The questions will help you determine what’s going on in your prospects’ minds. Knowing how to use open-ended questions will serve as a catalyst for your success.
Open-ended questions help connect with prospects and clients on a personal level. You’ll realize what matters to them. You’ll discover ways to reprogram what they think. Plus, you’ll lead them toward a better future. It’s not about asking questions. It’s about asking the right questions. That’s the purpose of what you’re about to read.
What’s the main goal of asking open-ended questions? It’s to ensure you’re gathering the right information that will lead you to the sale.
Open-ended questions will help you:
-Determine the needs of your prospects.
-Figure out what their main objections are.
-Analyze all potential risks and rewards.
-And most importantly- position yourself to make the sale!
The Four Types of Open Ended Sales Questions
Below are the best open-ended questions you can ask. They’re designed to help you understand your prospect’s needs. The questions are in four different categories:
-Goals and Pain
Open-Ended Trust-Building Questions
Trust is essential to getting sales. Prospects are much more likely to buy when they have confidence in what you’re saying.
-What’s been taking place at your company in the last few months?
-What changes have you and your staff been experiencing?
-Do you have any fun plans for the weekend?
-I’ve heard you say few times that you’d like to retire in a year or two. What do you plan on doing once you retire?
-I’ve heard your staff discuss how important your company’s values are to them. How did you teach them to respect those values?
-I enjoyed reading your bio on your company’s website. But now that we have some time, please tell me more about your role in the organization.
Open-Ended Goal and Pain Questions
You have may have, in the past, read sales advice that’s centered around pain. That’s good. Why? Because recognizing pain points helps salespeople close. But pain is only half of the equation. There are still potential needs that you must get to the bottom of. The next set of questions will determine what’s stopping the sale from taking place. There must be a reason the prospect is hesitant to proceed. These questions will help you realize where the prospect wants to go. You won’t only uncover the person’s pain, you’ll uncover his or her goals.
-How come this service/product/issue hasn’t been helping you and your team?
-Many of my clients have informed me that X, Y, and Z never seem to get them the results they need. Have you had similar trouble? What’s your take on these factors?
-What’s the biggest obstacle stopping you from achieving your target revenue?
-When it comes to X, what’s your number one goal?
-What are the main objectives you’re looking to address in the coming months?
-Like I told you earlier, I’d like to share with you some ideas. These have all worked for my clients in the past. I was able to help them with X, Y, and Z. Before we jump in, what else would you like to cover this morning? I want this meeting to help you out as much as possible.
-What made you decide to chat with me today? (Only ask this if the potential buyer set the meeting up.)
Open-Ended Improvement Questions
These questions convey that working with you is going to improve the prospect’s life.
-Would your company’s financial situation get better if these changes took place?
-What would having this product mean for you on a personal level?
-Do you feel your company could become more competitive in your market?
-I know you value the opinions of you Board of Directors. Do you think they’d feel satisfied if this change were to occur?
-If this problem can’t get solved soon, what challenges are you going to experience? What won’t take place that you need to take place?
Open-Ended Future Questions
These questions will turn you into a painter. What does that mean? It means you’ll be able to paint a picture for the prospect. That picture will convey how much your product or service will improve the prospect’s life.
-Say you were able to get into a time machine and fast-forward two years into the future. How would your company’s success look different than right now?
-You said you’re dissatisfied with how your current provider is operating. If you were to do business with us, what are the main factors that you’d like to be different?
-It’s great we had some time to talk today. What do you view as being different if we get a deal squared away?
-Let’s talk about success. What would help make you feel successful?
-What would bring success to you on a personal level?
-What would make your company become more successful?
-Let’s take money out of the equation for a second. If money weren’t a factor, what would you like to change? Why would you need that to get changed fast?
Bonus Tip: Show that you’re curious, no matter what the prospect says.
The greatest salespeople in the world are excellent listeners. They convey an equal amount of curiosity to every single client and prospect. They don’t have to think twice about it. It’s what they’ve done for years to earn millions of dollars. When you show genuine curiosity to a prospect, he or she will recognize it and appreciate it. This will make the person more likely to open up to you. Next thing you know, that person will be sharing their problems and concerns with you. Again, this is the key to building trust. Why? Because you’re proving that you care.
Bonus Tip 2: Say the prospect answers a question but you need him or her to provide an explanation. Ask a question such as:
-Can you please expand on that a little?
-What makes you say that?
You might feel shocked by how much insight you can gather based on simple questions such as these. Simple questions can sometimes make or break getting a sale.
Bonus Tip 3: Personalize your questions.
It’s always better to make your questions as personalized as possible. But don’t stop personalizing with the questions. Your answers should always seem personalized too. Being too generalized is going to make prospects walk away. They don’t want to speak to a soulless robot. They want to speak to someone who seems to care and want the best for them. People are more likely to open up when questions feel personalized. Here are some ways to go about this. Personalize your questions based on:
-Everything that has to do with the prospect’s company. This includes challenges, the other people working, technology, company objectives, etc.
-The part of the sales pipeline that the prospect is currently at.
-The personal details of the prospect. What will bring relief or happiness to his or her life?
-What has gotten discussed in previous conversations. Again, this is why listening is so important. In fact, listening isn’t good enough. Great sales people are active listeners. This means you must always be paying attention to what the prospect says. You never know when a new detail that you hear might be the missing link. Sometimes capitalizing on one single detail can make a sale possible.
-Avoid asking questions that you’ve asked during previous conversations. This might do more than embarrass you. It could make the prospect think that you don’t actually care about him or her. As a result, you’ll lose the sale.
Don’t assume that you can get by going through the motions when you ask open-ended questions. The last thing you want to do is sound contrived or insincere. That’s why you shouldn’t use any of these questions word-for-word. They are only examples and concepts. You’ve got to tailor your own questions to fit into the conversations with each of your prospects.
Your success with open-ended questions is going to vary, depending on the prospect. Sometimes all it takes is one question to lead you to a sale. Other times, it’s going to take many questions to get a prospect to come out of his or her shell. When the latter occurs, make sure you don’t overdo it. The last thing you want to do is annoy a potential buyer. That’s why you’ve got to keep in mind that questions aren’t the solution. They’re part of the solution. You’ve got to combine your questions with the following three actions. Talking. Providing helpful information. And offering great advice. Do you need more material about open-ended questions? Please browse more articles and videos on BillionsInTheBank.com.