Questions That Sell

Listening and Probing to find out your customer’s real needs are two of the most important sales skills. Those techniques rely heavily on open-ended questions.

These are the questions that cannot be answered properly by one word answers ( no yes and no’s !) , and so they help you to find out the customer’s business situation, real interests as well as letting you establish the connect with the client.

Establishing rapport, trust & credibility

What would you like to see improved?
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?
How do you measure that?

Information gathering

What prompted you/ your company to look into this?
What are your expectations/ requirements for this product/ service?
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?
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?

Moving further in the Sales process

What do you see as the next step?
What is your timeline for buying/ purchasing this type of service/ product?
What other information would it be useful for us to know before moving forward?
What budget has been established for this?
What are your thoughts?
Who else is involved in this decision?

How To: Use Questions Well


In your job managing and interacting with people, it is important that you get good information. Using questioning techniques well will get you what you want and keep relationships intact.

  •  Focus on the relevant facts
  • For more information, ask open-ended questions
  • Ask closed-ended questions to get additional details
  • Show interest to promote additional conversation
  • End the conversation

 Questions can be productive or draining. They can make people feel comfortable opening up and build trust, or cause them to become defensive.

Think about the following questions:

Why are you behind schedule?

What’s the problem with this project?

Why are you slower than the others?

What’s your problem?

Why did you do that?

Who made that decision?


Avoid using “Why? “ too much. It can sound critical or challenging.

Ask “what” or “how”, rather than “why.”

 Place the focus on the person answering.

What is your opinion?

How do you feel about doing it this way?

 Start with broad questions and move to wider applications.

What are you most pleased about, personally, in learning that?

 Choose your timing, if possible.

 Go positive and effective

Examples of effective questions include:

What is already working?

What makes it work?

What is the objective?

What are the benefits of achieving this objective?

What can we do to move closer to our objectives?