Asking the right questions is the backbone of successful selling.  The reason they are so important is that the right questions qualify the right information.  This information allows the salesperson to determine how good of a fit exists between the prospect’s needs and the salesperson’s solution.

Simple, right?  But what questions should the salesperson ask?  JustSell.com has an excellent starting point where they list 30 open-ended questions.

An example:

qualifying

What do you see as the next action steps?
What is your timeline for implementing/ purchasing this type of service/ product?
What other data points should we know before moving forward?
What budget has been established for this?
What are your thoughts?
Who else is involved in this decision?
What could make this no longer a priority?
What’s changed since we last talked?
What concerns do you have?

Yes, I bolded that question since it is an excellent one.  The operative word is “else.”  Rarely does the decision maker contact you first.  The goal of this question is to open the discussion to who else will be involved in the final decision.  This question asks for that information without belittling the initial contact person.

These questions are starting points, but there are many good ones in the short list.

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