Sales Tips: The Different Types of Questions to Ask at High and Low Levels
By John Holland, Chief Content Officer, CustomerCentric Selling® – The Sales Training Company
I believe superior salespeople are curious and ask questions more often than they make statements. They avoid control questions that elicit short responses and therefore don’t facilitate conversations.
Instead they prefer to ask framing questions such as, “How do you create revenue forecasts today?” These questions usually begin with the word “how” and elicit lengthy answers about areas the seller wants to explore.
When calling at executive levels I suggest you try to avoid asking questions they can’t answer.
Many senior executives will seize opportunities to delegate salespeople to lower staff. Their response is usually something like:
I don’t know but can put you in touch with the right person.
Not a good outcome for a salesperson.
When calling at lower levels, consider asking questions buyers either can’t or don’t want to answer.
Asking subordinates to speak on behalf of higher levels or the organization will cause many to say they aren’t sure. For example:
In considering a new CRM software, what is your organization hoping to accomplish?
If a buyer can’t or won’t answer, the seller has an opportunity to ask who within the organization would know.
? My rules of thumb: At high levels avoid asking questions buyers can’t answer. At lower levels feel free to do so.