Broad, open-ended sales questions are great for helping you find out what’s going on in your prospects’ head. You want to be known for listening and understanding your prospects’ needs so open-ended sales questions are a good way to do that.
Plus, open-ended sales questions really help you connect with a prospect on a more personal level. It’s not all about how your product can help them, it’s also about building a better relationship. It gets the prospect talking so you can use the information learned to deliver better insight for them. A good sales question is a powerful tool to have at your disposal.
Below are 15 open-ended sales questions you can try that will help you complete the picture of your prospects’ needs, focusing on building rapport, finding out about goals and challenges, and discovering what they need.
15 open-ended sales questions to try
Building rapport: Try these questions to help build stronger relationships and trust with your prospects.
- What’s changed in the business recently?
- What’s your story in the business? How did you end up where you are today?
- You mentioned you want to retire in the next few years. What would you do next?
- What’s your favourite part of the job?
- I see that you’re based in [insert city]. What’s the best thing about living there?
Establishing goals and challenges: Don’t focus simply on identifying pain. Find out what your prospects overall goals are as well.
- Can you tell me a bit more about why your current setup/technology/product isn’t working for you right now?
- We work with a number of similar businesses such as X, Y and Z. They regularly say they had issues with A, B and C. Does that relate to you and what do you think about them?
- What’s holding you back from reaching your goals at the moment?
- (If the prospect requested meeting) What was the main reason you want to talk with me today?
- (If you set up the meeting) Before we get started, is there anything, in particular, you’d like to cover by the time we are done today? I’d love to find out what you think needs to happen to make this a successful meeting for you?
Identifying needs: These questions focus on the impact the prospect is looking for, how you can help them and what the next steps look like.
- If you were to resolve the pains we’ve spoken about, what would it mean for you personally?
- What do you think success looks like when it comes to this initiative?
- You mentioned previously you’ve had a bad experience with a previous provider. What are you looking for next time?
- What do you see being the main blocking point for moving the conversation forward?
- What does a successful working relationship look like to you?
Bear in mind, the difficulty is to not sound scripted. Use these questions simply as guidance, not word for word. And add your own take on them. Feel free to elaborate! Sometimes, it just takes the right open-ended question to get the prospect talking and find out the information you need to help them. Other times, it might take a few questions to get them to open up. Just don’t overdo it. Choose which questions are most suitable. You want to find the right balance between asking questions and listening, and providing value.