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.