More Sales Skills - Asking The Best Sales Questions


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Asking The Best Sales Questions

Effective questioning is a critical sales skill for several reasons. First, our recent research shows that there is a direct correlation between the success of a sales call and the type of questions that the salesperson uses. On average, failed sales calls include 86% more close-ended questions than open-ended questions.

Successful Sales Calls Have 25% More Open-Ended Questions.

Second, your questions help customers make their first key buying decision, which is whether to buy you, the salesperson. Questions build rapport and demonstrate your interest in the customer. They uncover information about the customer's needs, who to call on, the decision-making time-frame, your competition and how the customer will make a decision. When you ask the “best" questions, customers will view you as a consultant with their best interests in mind.

Third, questions help you manage the sales call. You can control the conversation and differentiate yourself from competitors by being the best listener.

But merely asking questions isn't enough. You need to ask “The Best Sales Questions. " For example, asking questions that draw out needs for your product's strengths can position you as the best or only solution for the customer's needs.

Sales Skills - In The Field

Asking “The Best Sales Questions" allows you to uncover your customer's real needs and meet them with the right solution. A sales representative from WESCO International, Inc. , a $4 billion electrical equipment provider, used the Action Selling™ process to do just that.

Great questions helped the sales rep land a new account on the first call. By zeroing in on the key needs behind a contractor's stated requirements, he was able to craft a bid that matched those needs exactly. He won the business (a $77,000 order) and opened the door for future opportunities.

Contact The Sales Board to learn more about Sales Skills Effectiveness 1-800-232-3485.

Duane Sparks is chairman and founder of The Sales Board, a Minneapolis-based company that has trained and certified more than 200,000 salespeople in the Action Selling Sales Training Program. He has personally facilitated more than 300 Action Selling training sessions.

In a 30-year career as a salesperson and sales manager, Duane has sold products ranging from office equipment to insurance. He was the top salesperson at every company he ever worked for. He developed Action Selling while owner of one of the largest computer marketers in the United States. Even in the roaring computer business of the 1980's, his company grew six times faster than the industry norm, differentiating itself not by the products offered but by the way it sold them. Duane founded The Sales Board in 1990 to teach the skills of Action Selling to others.

For more sales information or to get sales training that's been documented and proven to help you make more sales, visit


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