Asking Better Questions in Sales

Michele Warg
Posted by

When it comes to sales, the perfect pitch gets to the heart of the client's needs. To craft a powerful, personal pitch, you must ask the right sales questions. By improving your sales techniques, you can increase your numbers and gain insights that will help you maintain long-term sales relationships.

When it comes to bringing in new clients, many sales professionals spend a great deal of time talking about products or pitching services. In the process, they may fail to ask the right questions. Without effective sales questions, however, it is impossible to understand the client's needs and wants. According to a recent story from Reuters, positive indicators on Wall Street point to a growing economy, which is likely to lead to an increase in sales opportunities. By focusing your technique, you can bring in new clients who are benefiting from the healthy economy.

During a pitch, sales questions have the power to influence a customer's thinking. The first step in crafting better questions is to choose words that create positive associations in the customer's mind. Consider how your words affect a customer. A common question is, "What reservations do you have about my product?" After this query, the customer automatically begins to think about the negative aspects of the product. Instead, you can turn the question around by asking, "How do you see my product benefiting your company?" The customer's mind will immediately begin focusing on the positive aspects of the product. By rewriting your sales questions, you can steer clients toward more productive thinking.

Asking the right questions takes a good deal of planning, especially in the beginning. Before you go into a pitch, take the time to research the customer. Look for media mentions, particularly those that talk about recent successes or failures. Check out the customer's competitors and see if you can gauge whether they are faring better or worse than your client. Visit social media sites to see fan activity and the customer's website to get an idea of what the marketing strategy is like. All of those facts can help you form a picture of the client's current situation and future plans, which will enable you to write insightful questions before a pitch.

During a meeting with a potential client, tailor sales questions on the fly based on your knowledge and your research; in doing so, you'll be able to get to the point faster. This skill must be developed over time as you refine your sales techniques. In time, you will learn to pick up on nonverbal cues and read between the lines. One question that many sales professionals fail to ask is simple: "Do you think I have a clear understanding of your situation?" At that point, the client can offer extra information or express concerns about your knowledge. This question can help you understand where you stand, so you can make adjustments accordingly.

Whether you are a new salesperson or an experienced industry professional, your sales questions are a crucial business tool. By taking the time to refine your process, you can increase sales and boost profits.


(Photo courtesy of


Become a member to take advantage of more features, like commenting and voting.

  • You Might Also Be Interested In

article posted by Staff Editor

Jobs to Watch