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How to Close a Sale Using the Right Questions

Updated on September 4, 2012
jpcmc profile image

I'm a dad, husband, and Christian first. The rest is just life's add-ons: an educator, administrator, learning & development professional.

Questions are sales tools that most sales professionals fail to put to good use. It's time to change this.

Questions are tools that everyone should consciously and systematically use. The problem is that many people don’t know how to use it properly. Just how important are question in selling?

Here’s my take on this:

How can you provide what clients need when you don’t know what it is?


But it’s not just blurting out any question in your mind. Believe me, some may find it difficult to avoid saying nonsense and asking equally nonsensical things.

Here are some tips you can use to turn questions into money.

1. Be clear and concise

To get the right information you need to ask the client the right questions. Your question should be specific and to the point. For the sarcastic souls out there, this does not mean being tactless.

Make sure you client understands what you are asking for. Several days back I was asked by a cashier “S or R?” How the hell should I answer that question? Was this some kind of password for some extra service or something? So I simply retorted “what?” In stead being given some clarification I was given the same question but now with an are-you-stupid tone. So how did it make me feel – irritated of course! Definitely one of my dismal customer service experiences.

Don’t assume that your client has any idea what you are talking about. Chances are they don’t. Also, there is a big chance they are nodding at everything you say without really digesting what they just heard. Suffice to say, be very clear with how you phrase your query.

2.  Relevance matter

There are questions and then there are useful questions. Small talk can get you no where unless you want to remain in the small talk stage of your conversation. Effective sales people can bring out relevant information by simply asking for it.

Why is this important? Again help the clients discover and clarify their needs!

Asking questions that truly matters to them is essential. This is more than just building rapport, it’s getting juicy info that you can use to close the sale. Remember, every client has unique needs and experiences. So listen properly and pay close attention to these. All these information will help both of you decide which product or service is more appropriate.

As a sales professional, it is important to jot down information that is vital to your sales. What do you need to know so that you can sell? Now rehears this in your mind so that you can seamlessly inject questions during your conversation with the client.

3.  Timing is essential

Questions that point to your service or product as a solution to the client’s requirements often create a big impact on them. But choosing the time to pop the question is an art form. You may have a roster of what you need to know and you may have rehearsed the questions over and over again but the timing can make or break your sale.

Proper timing of questions can be epiphanies to many clients. When given during the right time, you can make money out of it. However, if done poorly, they may resent your existence. So when is the right timing? There is no formula to use for this. All you need to keep in mind is that your questions must not seem tactless at that time and you must have full attention of the client.

Majority of sales people think that questions are only used by clients to know about their products or services. In fact, some associate questions as form of objections. But the truth is questions are great tools that sales professionals neglect to fully use. With some practice anyone can make money from asking the right questions.

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    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      That's true Mike, It really takes practice. But when you get it right, you can get the sales.

    • profile image

      Mike Abad 5 years ago

      Sales representatives need to know how to turn every opportunity into a sales opportunity. The right questions make a huge impact on the sales outcome. But the art of asking takes practice.

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 6 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Thanks for the kind gesture SallyTX. I do hope it works out well for you.

    • SallyTX profile image

      Sally Branche 6 years ago from Only In Texas!

      Great info! I am going to use this when I talk with people about electronic cigarettes! Thanks! :) Voted up and useful! :)

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 6 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hi On Paramapoonya. Yes, you're very right. In fact, I use the same concepts and ideas when I give organizational development seminars focusing on communication. Thanks for rating up.

    • Svaciada profile image

      Svaciada 6 years ago from Prague

      Cool, nice hub..

    • Om Paramapoonya profile image

      Om Paramapoonya 6 years ago

      Nice hub. I think your advice can be very useful not only for the sales process, but also for all types of business communication (between coworkers, business partners, etc). Rated up! :)

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 6 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hi Belinda thanks for dropping by. I've been training sales people for around a decade now (maybe a little more) and most of them fail to maximize their time with clients. Questions are tools that sales reps fail to utilize properly. I'm glad you recognize the value of questions in selling.

    • Belinda Hodge profile image

      Belinda Hodge 6 years ago from Brisbane Australia

      Good hub jpcmc - this topic doesn't get written about very often but it's often the missing ingredient in the sales process. Glad to see you making a Hub out of it.