Sales Questions to Ask Prospects to Build Trust
One of the most critical elements to have a successful sales call is to ask good sales questions. Prior to every sales call or customer meeting, it's a very good idea to think through and write down a list of twelve to fifteen sales questions you want to ask a potential customer during the meeting.
Below is a list of generic, consultative sales questions to get you started. Building greater levels of prospect trust, more quickly, is by far the best way to increase your selling success. Asking your prospects well-considered questions is one of the key ways to build prospect trust.
These sales questions are not in any specific order - choose the questions that best fit your sales situation.
Sales Questions You Should Ask Prospects
- Are you budgeting or looking to purchase?
- What are the disadvantages of the way you're handling this [process] now?
- What are the key deadlines?
- What are the most important elements that keep your organization functioning?
- What are your greatest challenges?
- What benefits might result if we tried the following approach?
- What can I do at this point to better serve you?
- What concerns do you have?
- What could get in the way of getting an agreement done?
- What criteria would you use to choose a replacement?
- What details do you want explained?
- What do you see as the greatest risks in making this purchase decision?
- What do you see as the primary benefits of our [solution]? Do you see any other potential benefits?
- What do you want to happen that isn't now happening?
- What does it take to be successful in your position?
- What else do we need to discuss?
- What expectations do you have for me in returning your phone calls, emails, etc.? How quickly would you expect me to respond?
- What is important to you about making a change at this time? Have you considered or tried to make a change in the past? What stopped you from considering a new [solution] last time?
- What is your company's annual sales volume?
- What is your expected outcome for our meeting today?
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Sales Questions You Should Avoid Asking Prospects
It is just as important, perhaps even more important, that you avoid asking sales questions that prospects will perceive as manipulative questions. If prospects perceive that you are trying to manipulate them through your questioning, you have little chance of building trust during the sales process.
Below are just a few examples of sales questions you should not use in meetings with prospects. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of these types of questions that "sales experts" still suggest should be used during sales interactions. If you want to be a trusted seller, do not use manipulative questions like these:
- You seem to be comfortable with the our [solution]. Would you feel comfortable with a delivery date of [date]?
- I believe we’ve covered everything, what do we need to do now to get your business today?
- Just between you and me, is there any reason this [solution] would not be approved?
- The only question you need to ask yourself is can you afford not to purchase this [solution]?
- Have you thought about the status and prestige you will enjoy from buying this [solution]?
- Off the record, what kind of budget are we looking at here?
- I see you have a beautiful trophy on the wall, do you [golf, fish, play tennis, play poker, etc.]?
- Don't you agree this feature alone will save you thousands of dollars in the first year?
- Should I start the paperwork for a buy or lease of the [solution]?
Click for an expanded list of sales questions you should think twice about asking prospects as a trusted seller.