Sales questions should be designed or created with a specific objective in mind. You can establish rapport and get to know your customer's needs and wants better with the correct questions. Certain types of questions are used to get customers to open up about themselves. Open-end questions are the type of questions that cannot be answered with a “yes” or “no." These questions are fact finding. A sales person also can use closed-end questions, which can be answered with a "yes" or "no." Closed-end questions are used by sales people to close a sale.
Ask questions to establish rapport. Sales people will sometimes ask questions about the prospect's family, job, interests and hobbies. This helps to establish rapport, trust and respect. If you can get a customer to like and trust you, it is easier to get them to make a purchase.
Ask questions to discover needs and wants. A sales person will ask questions initially to find out a customer’s needs. When a customer answers a question, they might not reveal their real reason for wanting to make a purchase. Questions can be used to determine a customer’s emotional attachment. Sales people rely on this technique to help them discover a customer’s wants in addition to needs. If you ask enough questions, you can find out someone’s emotional reason for wanting to make a purchase. Many times it's the customer’s wants rather than needs that creates an emotional attachment or anchor to a product or service.
Develop questions that help you overcome objections. Asking the right questions can help you overcome many of the customer’s objections. In sales, "objections" are reasons why your customer is not ready to make a purchase from you. Your ability to overcome objections will determine your ability as a sales person. Customers often will have more than one objection. Be prepared to have questions for each objection. Some of the more common objections are not enough time or money. A prospect might indicate they lack the money for the purchase. Some people will want to think about the sales transaction, which is often used as an objection.
Develop questions that help guide a customer to the closing. Closing questions are developed based on information you have gathered from the customer during other phases of your inquiry. Throughout your presentation, ask questions that the customer will answer with a "yes." The customer gets used to saying "yes," which increases the chances of the customer saying "yes" when you ask for the sale. When closing a sale, you merely keep reaffirming what the customer told you was his reason for wanting the product or service.
- sales manager checking the sales image by Peter Baxter from Fotolia.com