Here are 10 tips for salespeople on how to ask better questions:
Ask Open-Ended Questions
Avoid closed-ended questions that can be answered with a simple “yes” or “no.” Instead, use open-ended questions starting with what, why, how, where, when, and who. This encourages prospects to provide more detail.
Ask Follow-Up Questions
Don’t stop at surface level answers. Ask follow-up questions to uncover deeper needs. Phrases like “tell me more” or “help me understand” work well.
Mix Up Question Types
Use a blend of open and closed-ended questions, as well as introductory, probing, and clarifying questions. This builds a natural conversation flow.
Prepare Questions in Advance
Having a list of go-to questions keeps conversations productive. But don’t stick to your list rigidly. Modify based on the prospect’s responses.
Practice Active Listening
Give your full attention when prospects are speaking. Don’t just wait for your turn to ask the next question on your list. Truly listen to their responses.
Pause After Asking
Don’t jump in too quickly after asking a question. Give the prospect time to gather their thoughts before answering.
Ask One Question at a Time
Throwing too many questions at once is overwhelming. Stick to one question and fully explore the answer before moving to the next.
Prioritize Your Questions
Know which questions are most important for each stage of the sales process. Don’t get distracted with less vital questions.
Match Tone to Intent
A question can take on different meanings based on your tone of voice. Ensure your tone matches your intent.
Go With the Flow
While preparation is key, conversations don’t always follow a script. Be flexible and adapt your questions based on the dialogue flow.
Mastering these question-asking techniques takes practice, but it’s a skill that will serve any salesperson well. Great questions lead to great conversations, valuable insights, and more closed deals.