The Art of Effective Sales Questions
The best sales people typically master the art of effective sales questions. Being able to ask good questions is an art. Asking effective questions is a necessary skill for journalists, a developmental skill for salespeople and a desirable skill for conversationalists.
Insightful Sales Questions = Insightful Customer Conversations
As far as sales is concerned, the art of effective sales questions and good questioning skills are essential, value selling training experts say, for success. It is the basis for learning (and teaching) just exactly what your customers want and need. Unfortunately, too many buyers report that sales professionals ask them a canned list of questions trying to close the deal.
Poor Sales Questions = Poor Customer Conversations
Anyone who has ever been on the other end of a high pressured sales conversation can attest that the “poor-questions approach” does not build trust, credibility or revenue. In fact, poor sales questions typically lead to unqualified leads, missed opportunities and wasted effort.
Four Steps to Help Master the Art of Effective Sales Questions
If you want to have meaningful and insightful sales conversations with your target buyers master the art of effective sales questions by:
1. Starting with Open-Ended Questions
The most effective sales questions are open-ended. Open-ended questions are those that cannot be answered with a simple (and unhelpful) “yes” or “no.” They require a more thoughtful answer. Try to always begin with the big six open-ended questions:
The best solution sellers are curious about how they can truly help their clients to succeed. Open-ended questions promote a meaningful and client-centered conversation. Without them, it is difficult to uncover customer goals, problems, needs, objections, risks and next steps in a way that makes sense.
2. Being Clear and Concise
Get right to the point. Don’t ramble. You will lose focus and your target will be confused.
3. Actively Listening and Embracing Silence
Do not interrupt. Actively listen. And be patient with silence by accepting the pause.
Sometimes counting to 10 before speaking again can help you become more comfortable. Your listener will soon fill it…hopefully with the answer you were looking for.
4. Being Authentic and Client-Centered
First, have your client’s best interests at heart. Second, ask follow-up or clarifying questions if you do not understand what they are talking about…especially if it gives them a chance to be the expert and keep talking.
The Bottom Line
The better you become at listening and the art of effective sales questions, the more you help your customers to succeed. The more you help your customers to succeed, the more you will sell.
To learn more about the art of effective sales questions, download 30 Sales Questions More Important than Budget When Selling Solutions
Corporate Change Is Personal
We consider LSA Global our outsourced learning and development partner. We worked closely with LSA to customize a management development program to meet our growing business needs. I would highly recommend LSA to any company wanting to deliver quality learning solutions.
Vice President Human Resources
We engaged LSA to design and deliver a 6-month custom executive coaching program for a group of our key leaders. The focus of the program was to help a core group of senior leaders to leverage previous investments in management training, to ensure the engagement and retention of key employees, and to push critical strategic initiatives forward. Even with the high expectations of our senior people, LSA has completely exceeded our expectations. I would recommend them to anyone looking to create and implement a custom coaching methodology using proven tools to drive true change.
Senior HR Manager - Staffing, Training, & Development
LSA provided top notch solutions right when and how we needed them. They exceeded my expectations from a speed, quality, and cost standpoint. I recommend them to anyone looking for a true business partner in the Learning and Development arena. The breadth and depth of their expertise has helped us hit tight deadlines across multiple projects.
Fortune 500 Financial Services Company
Director of Infrastructure & Technology
LSA has become the gold standard in team building and management training at Genomic Health! I have a hard time finding facilitators that come close to their level of customization, expertise and experience.
Director of Human Resources
LSA exceeded all my expectations. We interviewed 7 potential training and consulting partners and selected LSA due to their expertise, flexibility, and breadth and depth of solutions. We were able to construct a management training course from the modules most appropriate to our needs, and are able to provide additional training from their well developed portfolio of experts. Our managers galvanized as a team throughout the session and are better prepared for the rigors of a competitive market.
Working with LSA Global has proven to be extremely valuable and worthwhile. LSA understands our business, has deep expertise in content areas, and tailors the programs to deliver great results. The facilitator was extremely knowledgeable about Working Globally with India and her energy and passion made the session interesting, fun, and enjoyable for all that attended. The participants walked away extremely pleased along with highly useful practices and tools. I would highly recommend LSA Global to any company that has partners or offices in India.
Human Resources Business Partner
Over the years, both at 3Com and now at Redback, I’ve found LSA Global to be a valuable resource. The recent compliance program that they delivered for Redback’s executive and management team was the right solution, of the highest of quality, and customized to our business and culture. I would highly recommend LSA to any company looking for top quality solutions.
Vice President of Human Resources
We partnered with LSA to pilot a customized behavioral interviewing program to help ensure that we continue to hire the best and brightest as we continue to rapidly scale. LSA’s ability to understand our business and our unique culture combined with their desire to ensure that the best practices framework truly fits our performance environment and is highly adopted by our people is a real blessing. Most other firms want to just ‘give you training.’ Not LSA, they are focused on helping me hit our hiring forecasts and attract A players.
Director of Global Recruiting
SeaTel has found our partnership with LSA Global to be very valuable and beneficial. We turned to LSA to customize a supervisory/leadership solution to meet our needs. LSA delivered a customized top quality solution. I’d recommend LSA Global to any company looking for a best-in-class training and consulting partner.
Here’s a token of my appreciation for ALL your efforts. I’m offering my most sincere appreciation, and it extends to all the folks who made our customized management development programs possible.
Workforce Planning Bureau
LSA’s customized Effective Presentation Skills program has helped me elevate my presentation skills to the next level. I now have a much greater self-awareness of my presentation skills and can leverage off of my strengths while working to improve upon other areas. I would definitely recommend this solution to anyone for whom business presentations are an integral part of their job.
Senior Marketing Manager
Congratulations on your pro-activity in establishing this program and developing such an effective New Employee Orientation course.
President and Chief Executive Office
We recently partnered with LSA Global to offer our Supervisors and Managers a customized two-day management training program. Everyone who attended said it was by far the best management training program they had ever attended. The content was rich and highly interactive. The case studies were relevant. Each participant walked away from the training much better equipped to lead their teams.
Director of Human Resources
“We turned to LSA to help us custom design and deliver a leadership and management development curriculum to help drive performance. They have done an excellent job diagnosing the business situation, designing an approach that fits our culture, and delivering a first class solution.”
VP Human Resources
Download key published insights and tools from industry experts highlighting best practices in the areas of talent, strategy and culture.
Want to know how you stack up against leading organizations? Receive a complimentary benchmarking analysis courtesy of an LSA Expert.
Get up to speed on timely solutions critical to your business. Published by LSA Experts based upon client feedback and key industry trends.
First we identify the key metrics you want to improve. Then we assemble a dedicated team of elite experts who have successfully solved similar problems with similar clients.
Stay up to do date with the latest information on how we help high growth companies align their culture and talent with strategy.
Real world consulting and training approaches from LSA projects, providing insights on how your company can outperform the competition.