15 Clever Sales Questions to Ask Clients

15 Clever Sales Questions to Ask Clients

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15 Clever Sales Questions to Ask Clients.  As a way of analysing the conversations and questions between you and your sales prospect our best sales questions, can fit easily into a funnel shape.  Initially, we start with open-ended questions.  Then, as we gain more information, we get much more specific by asking closed-ended, purposeful questions.  Last, are the closing questions completing the process.

Sometimes during the conversation, there may be a pause from the client during their response and that is good too because this short silence may prompt them to provide more information we didn’t know to ask about.  As sales people, we want to ask effective and informative questions.

Knowing what to do with the answers leads to longer and successful conversations.  Here we have 15 clever sales questions to ask clients to help navigate the sales process.  We Need to Ask Great Questions.

“Everybody is listening for something.  If I don’t know what you are listening for, I won’t know how to pitch you.”

Mike Brooks

Early on in the meeting, frame your sales questions so you can begin a conversation.  Asking the correct questions gives you the information you need to know so you can show how your product will help this new client, and generate an ongoing solution to their pain-points.

If you would like to read a few helpful and effective books we have a great blog article for you here.

15 Clever Sales Questions to Ask Clients
Talking to a client.

Open-ended Questions:

Our open-ended questions are designed for discovery.  It works well to begin your questions with “What”, “Why” or “How”.

For open-ended questions we want to avoid questions starting with “Is” or “Are”.

“Change the questions you ask, the way you view the issue will be transformed and innovation will start!” ― Isaac You

Question Intelligence: The questions to maximize your potential and accelerate your innovation

Open-ended questions help in the following ways:

  • They provide information to help you build the relationship, and develop the lead.
  • It gives a starting place to discover the most felt need (Pain-Point).
  • Will give you a greater understanding of the target business.
  • They can lead you to ask the closed-ended questions which provide specific information.
  •  Make mental written notes and write notes after the meeting to use as follow-up questions next time you meet with the client.

Instead of asking: “Did you get the email I sent?”

Ask: “What information in the email I sent stood out to you?”

Here is a list of other open-ended questions that can help you to build that connection with your
sales leads:

Below we list the 15 clever sales questions to ask clients to help navigate the sales process.

  1.  What are your goals for the next [3, 6, or 12] months? (Business Vision Question)
  2.  What might be holding your team back from reaching your goals? (Pain Point Question)
  3.  What could compel you to change vendors?
  4.  What business problem are you or they trying to solve? (Pain Point Question)
  5.  Are you the main decision maker in this situation? (Gate Keeper or Decision Maker)
  6.   Who else should I speak to regarding this decision-making process? (Gate Keeper or Decision Maker).
  7.   What are your top concerns?

Closed-ended Sales Questions:

This is phase two.  These are designed to receive specific information so we can get this prospect further into the funnel and become an appreciative client.  We are in the solutions business.  The answers to closed-ended questions are short and intended for a specific purpose.  The answers illustrate to us what this prospect needs to convert to the outlet of our sales funnel.

15 Clever Sales Questions to Ask Clients
Closing the sale.

Helpful closed-ended questions:

8.  Does it work to schedule a meeting for tomorrow? A. Great, Would 2:00 PM work for you?

This closed-ended question asks for a specific response which leads to a larger conversation:

9.  Are there specific issues or ideas you would like to discuss?

10.  Is there anything specific you would like from me?

11.  Is there anything specific you would like me to cover during our meeting?

12.  Do you have a budget or price range in mind?

Once you have gathered information from your prospect now you can use that information to discover how your solution (product or service) will help your prospect with their needs.  We serve their need with our valuable solution.

Our human default is to help.  That is what we are doing when promoting our product or service.  We use the information gleaned from our questions to illustrate how your product or services will help this sales prospect achieve their goals.

The closed-ended questions show those of us in sales, the way we can frame and describe our solution as the answer to their problem.

Closing Questions:

Closing questions, as you enter this phase, you have your client’s answers from previous questions.  The close is not just about closing the sale with a signed contract.  The closing questions have a greater purpose.  You know your product – your previous questions have been asked to get you to this point – the close.  In your closing you may have to handle objections – that is no problem.  The answers to these next closing questions will tell you where you are in the sales decision-making process.  This section should not be a problem for you as you now know the prospect’s needs.  You know the solution your product provides that meets their needs.  Everything you have asked, was asked to get you to complete the close.

The key points to remember at this stage are:

  • Discovering the next steps.
  • Pitching your solution, not your product.
  • Asking for the sale – the BIG ONE!

Keep this in mind: the sales prospect still has you in their office.  They are interested in what you have or you wouldn’t be there.  Make sure you are still listening to what is being said and what is being left out.  You have asked:

  • What they need.
  • Who the decision makers are.
  • What the pain point is.

Now you can provide a solution for the needs to the right people.  There are many types of closing questions and this is often an area where many of us sales people can miss the mark.  There are a variety of ways to ask for the sale.

Here are some great closing questions?

13.  From your perspective what next step do you need from us to get this deal under way?
14.  If you sign the contract today we can have our team get started as early as next week.  What start date works best for you?
15.  If you are ready to move forward I need your signature here.  We can get started on this right away.

Our Conclusion:

We are presuming the sales prospect wants the solution we can provide.  Asking the correct questions moves us toward the sale.  Someone needs to supply the solution and as we ask the correct questions we can be the ones to provide the solution this prospect needs.  Study these 15 clever sales questions to ask clients.  We believe the information in this post will serve you, helping to navigate the sales process.


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