I find most TV commercials really stupid. I can’t believe that supposedly smart executives actually pay for some of the more ridiculous TV ads. If I see the guy sitting at the kindergarten table asking little kids questions again, my head might explode.
Maybe it’s just me, but I do enjoy golf-related commercials. I recently saw one for Ping, the golf club company. The theme of the commercial was how Ping built its fine reputation by always asking, “How?” How could they make a better putter? How could they make golf more enjoyable with their equipment?
That’s when I dragged my rear out of the chair, grabbed a pen, and started scribbling ways we as salespeople can use “how” with our prospects and customers.
A few points on these questions:
- I’ve grouped these questions into categories, but you’ll see that many of them are interchangeable.
- They’re not in a particular order, although some could be used as good follow-up questions in response to an answer to a previous question.
- Keep in mind that you wouldn’t necessarily use just “how” questions exclusively. Mix in the "who," "what," "where," and "why" questions as well.
- This list is not all-inclusive. Matter of fact, how about you adding one or more of your favorite “how” questions below in the comments?
Oh, and remember, the most important thing about sales questioning is that you listen to your buyer's answers, use the information, and react accordingly.
Fact-Gathering and Qualifying Questions
- How do you get new business?
- How could you get more?
- How could we help you get more?
- How do you plan on achieving your goals this year?
- How does the purchasing process work at your business?
- How are decisions like these typically made?
- How is money normally budgeted?
- How did you make the decision last time?
- How could you use our product/service?
- How did you select the previous vendor?
- How do you evaluate new vendors?
Need Identification Questions
- How did that work last time?
- How often does that happen?
- How does that affect other departments?
- How are you doing it now?
- How is your situation unique?
- How could it be done better?
- How can we help you do it better?
- How do you see this developing?
- How could it be improved?
- How would you describe your present level of service/satisfaction?
- How are you going to fix the situation?
- How did you handle it last time?
- How does that problem impact other departments?
- How long has it been going on?
- How much does it cost you?
- How much time does it take now?
- How is it being handled now?
- How will you handle it?
- How did you/your employees/your customers react?
- How does that make them feel?
- How does that make you feel?
- How did that happen?
- How will you prevent it from happening again?
- How would you define "good service"?
- How would you describe … ?
- How does poor quality affect the final product?
- How much do you think you would save if that problem was solved?
- How would you use it if you had it?
- How can we make this work?
- How can we make this happen?
- How about starting out with a trial order?
- How can we get approval?
- How would you like to proceed?
- How soon can we get started?
- How about starting now?
- How many do you want to start with?
- How do you see us proceeding?
- How fast will you need this?
- How much will you need to start off with?
- How can we be the ones that you’ll choose?
- How can we be part of the bidding process?
- How do you want to pay for this?
- How do you want this delivered?
Addressing Resistance and Objections
- How much is “too much”?
- How could we solve that?
- How much resistance do you expect internally?
- How can we both make this work?
- How much of an issue is that, really?
- How do we get around this issue?
- How can you/we find the money?
Customer Service Questions
- How can I help?
- How can I be of service?
- How could we improve?
- How are we doing?
- How can we change?
- How can we do it better?
- How can I fix it so you’re satisfied?
- How have we done for you?
Questions to Ask Yourself
- How can I change?
- How could I increase my sales and production by X% this quarter?
- How am I going to reach my goals?
- How should I start?
What are your "how" sales questions? Leave them in the comments below.
Editor's note: This post originally appeared on Smart Calling Online and is republished here with permission.