Gathering Information With Open Ended Sales Questions
Open ended sales questions are key to gathering information about any inbound sales lead. There is a ton of information to be shared on this topic! So for the purpose of this article, we are going to focus on the most useful questions for information gathering.
Without information, we cannot identify needs, wants or desires.
If we are going to demonstrate credibility and make our presentation relevant to our audience, we have to identify the problems or struggles that they face. If we struggle to gather information, one likely reason is that we are asking the wrong questions. So in order to identify the problem, we need to ask open ended sales questions.
Let’s keep in mind that it is our goal to identify a desire, pain, or struggle. With this information, we can present a genuine solution. Before now, we should have already established rapport. Currently we are building trust, and we must be relevant to be credible! If we miss any of the previous principles, we will not get any information and we will end up with objections like:
- Let me get back to you on this.
- I don’t have time.
- I want to think it over.
- It’s not for me.
- I can’t decide.
So what are some of the best questions to ask a prospect?
“How can we help?” Likely one of the most underutilized open ended sales questions, and a great place to start! Listen, take notes, and be prepared with another question.
“What interests you/why are you interested in this opportunity?” This type of questions provides triple value. One, we are demonstrating that we truly care by listening! Two, if a prospect expects us to be pushy, they are likely to relax. And three, our prospect will share the general desire or problem that led them to seek what we offer.
“Digging Deeper” With Open Ended Sales Questions
Once we have a general idea of what our prospect’s desires, needs, or wants are, we probe a bit deeper. We need to discover the root of the desire that led to seeking our opportunity. In doing so, we are learning how we can present a genuine solution, and establish credibility.
“What are you currently doing to address this problem?” This question will reveal how important the issue is, and allows us to be relevant when presenting a solution. ( Take notes! )
“Is this issue causing other problems?” This will get our audience thinking. Cascading effects are not always obvious, and by bringing more to light, we add value to the solution we are going to offer.
“What else should we know?” This is a powerful question because we are further demonstrating that we care, and by this time our prospect is comfortable with sharing.
Establishing Credibility With the Information That We Have Gathered
At this point in our conversation, we are preparing for the next fundamental step in any sales presentation: Identifying a Problem to Offer a Solution.
Without rapport, we have no trust. Without trust we cannot establish credibility. Without credibility we cannot gather information. Without information, we cannot identify the problem. Without a problem, we cannot offer a solution, and we end up with all sorts of “crazy” objections. Do you see where this series is going?
So now, we have a general understanding of how we can present a real solution. We understand the true desire of our prospect, and we have pinpointed ways to demonstrate our credibility. Some great questions might be:
“How much does this problem… ( affect health? …cost in time/money?)” We respond to the answer with, “Can you imagine how much… ( better you would feel / how much money you could save ) …if we could… ( specific solution to a specific problem here )?”
There are many more questions that we can ask! Be sure to grab the download.