To make a sale, you have to convince a customer. If you want to convince a customer, you have to know how your product or service can solve their problems. And how can you discover customer pain points?
By asking open-ended sales questions!
Today, we will explore how open-ended sales questions help you achieve more sales. We will also provide examples of such questions so that you can refine your script for more conversions.
What are the Open-Ended Sales Questions?
Open-ended sales questions are an approach under consultative sales and also known as sales discovery questions. The questions allow you to discover more about your leads and know them better. You can ask open-ended sales questions to strike a conversation and push for your product throughout the sales funnel.
Why ask Open-Ended Sales Questions?
Sales reps can initiate dialogues with prospects by asking open-ended questions. They are used for probing and getting the client to disclose more about his business.
You can also ask the questions over the phone to assess the pain points of your potential customers. The questions encourage the exchange of ideas as they don’t have any specific answers. They are ideal for building rapport and creating engagement between the rep and the prospect.
Open-Ended Sales Questions Examples
You need to refine your open-ended questions or probing sales questions based on where the lead is in the sales funnel stages. We will provide examples for each stage and how it can help you move towards making a sale.
Before anything, you have to create a rapport with your prospect. The aim of these questions is to open up your prospect and get him talking. Rapport-building questions set the stage for the rest of the conversation.
- How is your business going?
- What are your plans for the coming year?
- Can you tell me more about your background or career?
- Would you tell me something special about your company?
All leads are not equal! You need to qualify a lead to determine whether it’s worth to spend your time on it. Qualifying questions help you gauge the potential of your leads, and where they are in the buying process.
- Do you have a budget in mind?
- When do you want your problem to be resolved?
- How are you dealing with this issue now?
- How do you make a purchase decision?
You can ask need-based or pain-based questions to discover the needs and pain points of your prospects. Prepare these questions carefully, so they don’t go into areas your product doesn’t address.
- How is the issue affecting your operations?
- Does it have any financial impact?
- When did you start having these problems?
- Do you want to change anything about your existing solution?
Don’t stop with just discovering your prospect’s pain points- find out what he wants to achieve! You can ask these questions to determine both the buyer’s goals and needs. You can successfully make a sale only when you know what’s holding your customers back.
- Do you know why your solution isn’t working?
- What objectives do you want to meet using our solution?
- How are the issues affecting your revenue?
- How can I make this meeting more successful for you?
You can find out the exact features that are important to your prospect by asking benefit-driven questions. Then you can guide your prospect to show how the features help him out. These questions are ideal when you want to know how to close a deal. You should know the features of your product or service thoroughly to frame the questions.
- How significant is solving this issue to you?
- What will happen if the problem isn’t addressed?
- How would incorporating the changes affect your revenue?
- How would the top brass assess the success of this solution?
New Future Questions
Ask these questions to show working with you will help the customer address his issues. These questions can be the final stage of convincing before closing a sale.
- Would you want any changes before we move forward with the deal?
- If you work with us, what differences do you expect to experience?
- How do you define success for this project?
- If you could do whatever you want, would you change anything about your existing system?
The above questions give you an idea of what to ask based on the position of the prospect in the buying process. Now, we will give you a few tips to ask open-ended sales questions in the best way.
Open-Ended Sales Questions: Tips & Tricks
Start slow: Don’t rush in with your pain-based questions right after you open the dialogue. Ask broad, non-threatening questions at first. Example: Can you tell me more about your business?
Then try to find the areas you need to explore in detail.
Show curiosity: Your reps should always maintain a sense of curiosity while asking open-ended questions. They shouldn’t sound like they are just reading from a script. Being good listeners is also important and helps you discover more about your prospects.
Make it personal: By saying make it personal, we don’t mean you should probe about your prospect’s personal lives! But you can ask about his career or business, things that are important to him.
Don’t provide suggestions: Your reps shouldn’t provide hints or suggest an answer after asking a question. This will change how the client thinks and can stop him from sharing what he meant to.
Be conversational: Don’t go into rapid-fire or start interrogating clients. It should always be conversational.
Open-ended sales questions can provide essential insights about your client and his business. The insights help you align your product or service with the client’s needs and close the deal successfully.