7 months ago
February 21, 2017

Ask Your Prospect Great Questions to Close More Sales

Close more sales by asking sales prospects great questions that go beyond the basics.

Claire McConnachie

One of the mistakes that less experienced sales people often make is to allow a sales prospect to control the flow of information during a sales call. While it is important to let the sales prospect do the majority of the talking, the conversation will not help you close more sales if the information is not relevant. All sales people can learn to prevent this from happening and close more sales by asking sales prospects great questions that go beyond the basics.

Find Out What You Need to Know About Your Sales Prospect

Naturally, you need to learn about your sales prospect on the way to close more sales. Great questions that prompt your sales prospect to share information with you while building rapport are the best way to navigate the initial sales call. Ask questions that accomplish both aims, such as:

  • Have you used any similar solutions or vendors in the past? How did that work for you?
  • Is there anything else that your organization has tried to address this issue?
  • What is most important to you when selecting a vendor for this project?

Play the Devil’s Advocate and Ask Questions That Show You Can Walk Away

As the sales person, you can walk away from a deal as easily as can the sales prospect. In certain circumstances, if the sales prospect is not qualified or not ready to buy, moving on to the next opportunity may be in your best interest to close more sales. Try asking these great questions to confirm that your sales prospect is qualified to buy.

  • To make sure that this really addresses your company’s needs, can you tell me about…?
  • Now that we’ve had this conversation and before we move to the next step, how interested would you say your organization is in this opportunity?
  • What would prevent you from taking the next step with me?

Ask Questions to Get the Sales Prospect Thinking of Need

Features and benefits rarely help sales people close more sales. This is because selling based on features and benefits tends to lead to an offering being viewed as a nice to have product or service rather than a business necessity. To get a sales prospect to sign on the dotted line, ask great questions that help the prospect convince him or herself of the need for your offering, like:

  • What about this do you think would benefit your organization?
  • What does your organization need to accomplish in order to meet its annual goals?
  • Can you think of anything that would provide a better solution to X?
  • How do you think a solution like ours might benefit your customers?

Ask Questions to Identify Sources of Hesitation

When a sales prospect shows hesitation before moving to the next step, the first instinct may be to avoid the reluctance and forge ahead. However, by doing so many sales people only find that the prospect bows out of the pipeline at a later stage after a great selling opportunity has passed. Ask great questions to help you close more sales at the first sign of hesitation by assuming that the prospect does have concerns, and that there is no concern that you can’t address to close the sale.

  • What concerns do you have about moving forward?
  • Is there anything that I haven’t covered, or even that I have, that you would like to know more about?
  • What are your thoughts on where we are so far? What has been the feedback from others at your organization?

Ultimately, the only way for sales people to close more sales is to understand the unique perspectives and needs of their prospects. Unless a sales prospect is exceptionally talkative about his or her business, the only way to do this effectively is to ask great questions. Prepare to contact your next sales prospect with a list of great questions in hand that you can re-use to help close more sales.

Claire McConnachie

Claire is a Western University graduate with a background in recruiting, sales and customer service. As a Recruitment Consultant, her goals are to place the best people in the right roles resulting in satisfaction for both the candidate and client.