Completing the picture with effective questioning techniques

Completing the picture with questioning techniques

Effective sales interviews help your business sell more. Well researched and planned, they make the most of every sales opportunity. They blend process, techniques, attitude and content into a package that accelerates your sales.

Questioning is a key component. Combined with active listening, it helps you understand your potential customer, their situation, motivation, needs and attitudes. Only when you have good understanding can you shape a solution that is compelling and buyable.

There are lots of questioning techniques, starting with open and closed questions. Open questions cannot be answered with a simple yes or no; closed questions can. Open questions usually include a who, what, why, where, when or how inviting your customer to explain in more detail. Closed questions are useful for confirming points.

Funnelling is a technique where you start with a broad question and gradually funnel down your focus or Visa Versa. For example, when you are networking you might introduce yourself, ask your fellow networker their name, then ask them what their business does. This gives them the opportunity to explain their value proposition and you to ask subsequent questions like; what keeps you awake at night? what’s your greatest challenge? More specific questions then help you understand the challenges in more detail.

High yield questions move your discussion forward quickly or, backwards even quicker if asked at the wrong time or in the wrong way. The wrong time to ask them is before you have established rapport and credibility. The wrong way is asking them like council for the prosecution. The right time to ask is when you have built a little trust, the right way is like a concerned doctor or family friend try to help the customer get the right solution to their problem or need. Don’t overdo the “friend” bit by trying to be too familiar and spend time working up your high yield questions before the interview. Here are a few starters to get you moving;

  • If you could fix one problem your business is facing, what would it be?

  • When you think about your business in 5 years, what do you see?

  • What is the smallest action you could take today to have the most significant impact?

  • Why isn’t your current provider working out for you right now?

  • What’s stopping you from reaching your goals?

  • If you were able to make this happen, what would it mean for you?

  • If you don’t solve this challenge now, what difficulties will you face going forward?

  • What does success look like for you?

Hope this all helps

Good luck and happy hunting



Simon Hale & Associates Ltd

Gloucestershire Lea



RG42 3XQ

Registered in the UK Company number 10213659 Vat number 242 2152 50

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