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Five Powerful Open Sales Questions

One of the best ways to improve sales results is to incorporate good open sales questions. Here are five questions that can reveal valuable information.

1. Why have you chosen to meet with us?

As salespeople, we always know why we want to meet with qualified prospects as we want to help them and potentially sell them our products and services. But why does the prospect want to meet with us? It is very likely that the prospect is busy and has plenty of other things to do instead of spending their valuable time meeting with us. So why have they taken time out of their busy schedule to meet with us?

We might be able to guess why the prospect would want to meet with us, but to actually ask the prospect why and get them to answer in their own words, can sometimes reveal some key information. Of course you will want to use some finesse when asking this, but a good way to go is to say, “I know why we are very interested in meeting with you. Can you help us to understand why you were interested in meeting with us?”

2. What is the impact if you do nothing?

One of the open sales questions is to ask what happens if the prospect does nothing. The biggest competitor that we face is the option to do nothing and the status quo. When trying to qualify prospects, we must understand what things look like if they do nothing.

By asking the prospect what happens if they stay the course and do nothing and do not purchase from you or anybody else, we will reveal very important information. If there is no major impact or downside to doing nothing, the prospect might not be completely qualified as there is not a true need to move forward.


3. Is there a date when you need to do this by?

If the prospect truly needs what you have, it can be helpful to understand when they need it. Do they need to purchase and start using the product or service by a certain date? If so, this date becomes a compelling event and makes a qualified prospect. By asking open sales questions like this, we will get valuable information that we can use to qualify the prospect initially and then use as guide for the pace that we use to manage the sales cycle.

4. Who else are you talking with?

It is easy for us to hope that we are the only vendor that the prospect is talking to. And as a result, we can often avoid the subject of competitors, either because we don’t want to hear the bad news or we don’t want to give the prospect any ideas. But the reality is that it is very helpful to know if the prospect is talking to other vendors, how far along they are with them, and how they feel about them.

This can be an uncomfortable area to discuss, but by simply asking open sales questions like this in a very direct way, we can often get the prospect to share valuable information.

5. What would you like to do next?

Every sales person wants to improve their close rate and push prospects to move forward and to move quickly. But a very powerful way to go when it is time to get the prospect to move forward is to ask them what they would like to do next. By letting the prospect lead, we will know that the prospect is on the same page and that the next step is in line with what their needs.

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Launch Pad Solutions provides cold calling coaching helping sales pros to ask goo open sales questions.

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This article was published on Saturday 17 March, 2012.
Back to main topic: Qualifying Prospects
Qualifying Business to Ensure Sales Effectiveness
Three Questions to Ask When Qualifying Sales
Questions to Ask When Qualifying Sales
Qualifying Sales with Light Questions First
Effectively Qualifying a Prospect
Using Open Ended Sales Questions to Increase Sales
Sales Call Questions that Can Generate Leads
Powerful Questions for Sales People (Part I)
Powerful Questions for Sales People (Part II)
How to Qualify a Prospect

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