Creative Questions to Speed the Sales Process

The right questions do more than just help identify a prospect’s needs; they can set the tone for the entire customer relationship.  That’s why simply asking “what can I do for you?” isn’t enough.

The basic who, what, when, where, how and why questions will no doubt yield some of the information you need to move a prospect down the sales path. But when you inject a little creativity into your queries, the process can be accelerated significantly.

Finding out what your prospects and customers need requires conversation. And conversation comes much easier when you’ve got the right questions leading the way.  A good question will not only yield answers, it will open the door to a true dialogue upon which a lasting and mutually beneficial relationship can be built.

Here are a few suggestions that may help you get your creative question juices flowing:

  • What are the challenges to your vision?
  • If you could only change one thing in your operation, what would that be?
  • What aspects of your business keep you awake at night?
  • What is it that you want to make happen to transform the way you work?
  • What do you need or want to know about our product that would allow you to make an informed purchasing decision today?

Remember that a good question isn’t just about finding an answer; it is about getting to know your client better. Find out what is important to them so you can determine if and how you can meet their needs.

2 thoughts on “Creative Questions to Speed the Sales Process”

  1. Kathleen,

    Terrific post.

    Based upon our work with clients, we have found that salespeople who walk in the door with a reasonable understanding of their customer’s business will have a more productive outcome asking questions like yours.

    So, consider something like, “I’ve been studying your market. A number of our other clients are facing A, and B. It’s impacting them in this way…[describe] Are you up against the same challenges?”

    Our clients’ customers tell us that an approach like that really makes a difference. It takes some upfront work, but it can really pay off.

  2. I love the article. I believe you have to truly want to know about a customer or they can see right through you. As with all relationships, being genuine beats good technique. Right now I am learning a lot by simply asking how the current economic situation is impacting their business and their customers’ businesses. Customers and prospects are really opening up – it’s kind of like we’re all in this together. Thanks for a great reminder.
    Jill at

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