"The Navigator" News Blog

The Power of Great Questions

This is an excellent article from the Harvard Business Review on the power of questions. I’ve said for many years that, in selling, 80% of your chance to win or lose the sale is in the questions you ask, and questioning is a key piece of my sales training programs. Still, most salespeople don’t ask enough questions. I ran a poll on the “Sales Best Practices” group and asked how many questions salespeople were asking on the discovery appointment, and the results shocked me. 37% said that they asked five or fewer questions; another 41% said they asked 10 or fewer questions. Only 22% of salespeople ask more questions (wanna bet which group has the better results?). Overlay this with the result from the article that said that there is a significant difference in likeability and rapport building between asking five questions and asking nine – and now extrapolate that to a sales call where you are trying to define customer needs. If you’re not making enough sales, you’re probably not asking enough questions.