Sales talks are a tricky part of your business. You need to ask the right questions to get your prospects talking. Without the correct approach, you will not understand the exact needs and problems of your prospective leads. Yes, it is a comprehensive piece of art. Below we have outlined our shortlisted tips that will help you to ask the best sales questions.

Begin by asking for permission

Sometimes, it is already known that you are calling a customer to gather more information about his/her business. But if you start off the conversation by seeking permission first, it is not only polite, but it also makes the prospective lead more forthcoming. For instance, you can ask: “May I ask you some questions about your business”? Another good approach is to ask a generic, open-ended question. For example, “May I know more about your business”? The customer can give any kind of response, and you can steer the conversation from here according to your interest. Not only will you gain more insights but you will understand what the prospect focuses on and what s/he chooses to leave out. Both these areas give you the scope to explore further. 

Revolve your questions around the answers

Now, that you got the discussion started, you can continue the conversation further by correlating your queries according to the answers. For instance, suppose your prospect replies that he owns large-scale event management. You can then ask: “Why did you choose this niche”? You can also ask: “What do you mean by large-scale? Is it defined by the number of orders? How many minimum orders do you need to qualify for a large-scale industry”? And so on. With intelligence and attention, you can get the conversation going and gather as much information as possible.

Use the appropriate technical terms

Not always, but sometimes, it is necessary to use some industrial jargon when appropriate. This reflects your knowledge about your domain. Especially when you are speaking to an expert, it is vital that you showcase your experience in that specific industry. Similarly, if you are talking with a layman, it is not required to unnecessarily throw complicated terms at him or her. This will just lead to confusion, and we all know that sales reps are meant to provide guidance, not to make customers feel inferior or embarrassed.

Ask simple and useful questions

Try to stick to direct, simple, and useful questions that will give you information-rich answers. Don’t make your questions unnecessarily complicated. Again, it is not advisable to ask two-part questions. Two-part questions are agonizingly long, and people usually give half-answers. For example, they may only disclose those bits of information of which they feel confident and secure enough. Or maybe, they will only answer the part they heard in the first place. So segment and serialize your questions into short, individual parts. This will allow prospects to understand what the next question can be. If you stick to a logical flow of questions, your prospective leads will grow to trust you.

Moreover, as we mentioned above, start off with generic, non-threatening, open-ended questions that don’t ask the customer to reveal anything sensitive. Once they begin to trust you, you can dive deeper, and ask about finances, business stability, credit history etc, as per your requirements. Again, when you ask sensitive questions, make sure that you inform the prospect as to why you need that information. On the other hand, when time at your disposal is less, it is better to start off immediately by addressing the exact questions.


Inform your prospects about your products

In many cases, it might happen that your prospects have no idea about your products or services. In such scenarios, do not begin by asking what they want from your company. Tell them about the benefits of your offerings. After that, proceed to asking what improvements they want and then explain how you can help them address those pain points. 

Take your time

Do note that the primary purpose of sales calls is to extract the maximum amount of information with minimal effort. Hence, do not pressurize the prospect. Let him/her take their own time to give a proper answer even though it means that you might have to wait a while. Be relaxed and ensure that the tone of your voice showcases politeness. One of the best methods to get the best results from sales questions is to be patient and not to hurry to the next appointment.

Do not jump directly into the budget 

It is vital that you know how to shift a conversation from one phase to the other. If you directly ask your prospect about his/her budget for the project, s/he will think that your main concern is to meet your financial goals rather than solving the issue. So, you can begin by asking: “Have you tried addressing this issue before?” This is a perfect example of a seamless transition. After that, you can slowly steer the subject toward the monetary side.

Stick more to ‘why’

Questions that begin with ‘who’ or ‘when’ tend to generate one-word answers. Therefore, use the more exploratory option – ‘why’. You can also resort to asking questions that will give a more detailed answer. These little tweaks can lead to more information gain and give better insights on the prospect. It will also enable you to continue the conversation further so that you know if this prospect is the right one or not.

Asking the right questions is an important part of your sales process – something that you should concentrate on immediately. With CallHippo, you can set up the ideal virtual phone system and start right away. Used by 5000+ companies globally, CallHippo, with its Intelligent business phone system, helps you in taking the first step toward a fruitful customer-building exercise. For any additional queries, you can always reach out to us. We will be happy to help!

Updated : March 22, 2021


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