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Powerful Questions for Sales People (Part I)

Here are eleven good questions for salespeople. Sometimes, in order to be an effective salesperson, it is not necessarily about knowing all the answers, but more so knowing the right questions to ask.

1. Why are you looking to make a change?

If you are talking to a prospect that is interested in purchasing your products and services, it is valuable to find out why they are looking to make a change. You likely can tell them exactly why they should make a change, but getting them to tell you why in their own words can reveal some valuable information.

And if they are not able to answer you or do not have a good answer, you might find out that you are not talking to a qualified prospect.

2. What happens if you do not do anything?

You may have great discussions going on with a prospect – you have a really great product and the prospect is very excited about it and appears very interested. But what happens if the prospect does not buy from you or does nothing?

The key thing with questions for sales people is that if there is not a big impact if the prospect does nothing, there could be some doubt as to whether the deal is real and if the prospect will pull the trigger. You want to look for prospects where there is a noticeable impact if they do not purchase so that there will be more justification to make the commitment when it is time to purchase.

3. What other options are you considering?

It can be common for sales people to assume that they are the only option that the prospect is considering. Or sales people can often either forget to find out who the competition is or feel like they should not ask.

But the best practice is to always assume that the prospect is talking to other vendors. And with that, a very direct question asking what their other options are is very appropriate and productive.


4. How do you feel about your other options?

If you identify that the prospect is considering other options, you might hear the competitors names that are involved and immediately know how you match up. But your knowledge about the competitive landscape may be different from the prospect’s, and that is what truly matters.

To identify how the prospect sees things and how each option compares to one another, deliver one of the direct questions for sales people and ask them how they feel about all of their different options.

5. How long have you been looking at them?

If the prospect is talking with other vendors, it is important to ask questions for sales people to find out how long they have been talking with them. If they have been talking with the other vendors for months and you are just now getting involved, it is likely that there are strong relationships and rapport built on that side and you may more of an outsider.

If that is the case, it is not a game stopper, but it is a valuable detail to tell you where you stand and maybe how much time you should invest. And if there is not a large difference in time, then there may be an even playing field in terms of relationships.


Launch Pad Solutions provides a sales script tool that provides good questions for sales people.


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This article was published on Friday 20 July, 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
Five Powerful Open Sales Questions
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 II)
How to Qualify a Prospect

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