Close more deals by asking these seven open-ended sales questions

At some point before you got into sales, someone probably told you, “you’d be a great salesperson!” Is that true? I bet you’d describe yourself as extroverted, and your parents and teachers would say that you ask a lot of questions. Both traits do well in sales, but are you asking the right questions?

When it comes to connecting with leads, there are many different avenues a sales team can pursue. You probably were introduced to them through your website, or a mutual connection, and they ended up in your sales automation software. Building a relationship with those prospects can be as simple as asking open-ended sales questions whenever you encounter them.

Through open-ended sales questions, you can get to know your leads a lot better without having to dig very deep and conduct extensive research. Even through informal questions, you can learn more about your prospect’s true needs, wants and values. You will get to know them on a personal level and cultivate an already established relationship.

Above all, by understanding more about them, you will be able to direct them toward a better future with you and your company—whether you are offering a service or distributing a product. In other words, you’ll close the deal.

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Open-ended sales questions to ask your prospects

1. Can you tell me about your background?

By asking an extremely open-ended question like this, it will broaden the conversation to a bunch of different areas. The great thing about this question is that it doesn’t necessarily have to be about sales. You can get to know this person’s background in their career, family, hobbies, etc. You’ll get to know the prospect as a human, and not sales bait.

2. How is business going?

This question seems extremely basic, but will open up a wealth of information about your potential client. You’ll get to know their current financial position while also opening up a conversation about their work life (of course, if they’re willing to share a lot of details). Asking about their work will also give you an insight into their general perspective.

3. Why did it not work out with the last (product or service) you used before ours?

One of the most important open-ended sales questions for you. You’re basically asking about your competitor in an indirect way which will provide you with a great deal of information. You’ll learn about the other competing product or service, what this prospect didn’t care for in it, and what they are looking for from you.

4. If there were no limitations coming from outside factors such as your financial position or current economic climate, what would like the future to look like for you? What would you change or improve?

Throwing money out of the picture will allow you to get to know a prospect’s internal values and what they really care about. Do they simply want you to provide them with a quality service? What kind of plans do they have to improve their future, and how will your partnership with them lead you there? A lot of the answers you’ll need are hidden in these kinds of open-ended sales questions.

5. What would our (product or service) mean to you personally?

Beyond spending money, asking about what they will personally gain from you will get to the core of their wants or needs. Your services to them can be direct—you won’t have to beat around the bush or wonder if what you are doing is right. Plus, it will show them that you care about their needs more than just making a sale. When they sign, you can measure yourself accordingly, as well.

6. What are some of your concerns?
Asking a prospect about their concerns will bridge any gaps for you, in terms of how you would do business with this particular individual. If you do things a certain way with one client, you’ll know how to approach this person. Everyone is different. It will also allow you to keep track of what you should be wary of when you do business again with existing clients.

7. Is there anything else that you have on your mind that we haven’t yet covered?

Like any other business meeting, it’s always best to finish off with one of the most open-ended sales questions. By asking this, you’ll allow them one more opportunity to confront anything they’ve had on their mind but haven’t had the chance to go over. Sometimes meeting with your prospect can be inundating for them when they are shopping around for different options; but this chance will give them a “breather” and allow them time to reassess their thoughts.

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lead-managerLet us help you simplify your sales process.  Sign up for a 30-day FREE trial of our lead management software and turn more leads into customers with less work!

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Are there other open ended sales questions that you use? Share with us below in the comments section!