Are You Asking The Wrong Type of Question?

Salespeople must ask questions. However, most salespeople focus on asking discovery type questions to uncover what the prospect “needs”. Then they spend time trying to differentiate themselves by telling the prospect how their product or service meets the need and in fact is better than the competition. The discovery type of question is necessary to uncover information and context for the sale, but it does little to differentiate the salesperson. This is true primarily because prospects are numb to the “pitch”.  Everyone does it and prospects either don’t “hear” it or don’t believe it. Thee is a better way to differentiate yourself.

A Sales Guy, Inc. CEO Jim Keenan explains the difference between questions designed to make your prospect think and discovery questions, which are meant to uncover information. “Discovery questions focus on the ‘what’ and are designed to identify existing needs, problems, customer pain points, customer’s goals, etc.,” he writes. Thought-provoking questions, on the other hand, challenge the buyer’s preconceptions and change how they think about a topic.

You need to ask discovery questions but don’t limit yourself to that. Challenge them with questions like “why did you decide not to do X when you started the project” where X would have been another course of action. Or you can say something like “Why change anything? why not keep the status quo?” When you ask thought provoking questions you will differentiate yourself and your product. the conversation will go where the prospect has never gone with your competitors and you will demonstrate to your prospect that you have a deep understanding of the situation. This will most likely change the nature of how you present your product or service when it is time to do so.

For a list of 17 thought provoking questions that only top salespeople have the guts to ask click here for the download.

Privacy Policy