Power of Short Questions on a Sales Call

One of the biggest problems salespeople have is not asking enough questions.

Salespeople love to talk and when they do ask a question, it can many times wind up being so long and convoluted that the customer has no idea what the salesperson is asking.

For many salespeople, trying to figure out the right question to ask is too hard for them.  (We’ll have to leave that issue for another time, but believe me it’s real!)

The solution lies in keeping things simple with this principle:  Short questions will get you long answers, and long questions will get you short answers.

The long and convoluted question a typical salesperson asks results in the customer being confused and responding with not much more than a grunt.   This demonstrates, of course, what I’m trying to tell you — a long question will get you a short answer

Conversely, short questions — and I mean really short questions — will get long answers.  Questions like these:  Why?  How come?  Could you explain more?  Do you have an example? 

Each one of those questions is short and yet they command a long answer.

Sales is all about getting the customer to talk, so doesn’t it make sense to ask short questions?  Sure it does.

Your objective is to make sure the questions you ask are ones of this type to allow the customer to become engaged in a conversation with you. 

The beauty of these short questions is they can be used as follow-up questions to gain more information regarding something the customer may have just shared with you.

Another thing that makes these so good is the fact they can be used on any type of sales call at almost anytime.

The more comfortable you are in asking short questions, the more flexibility you will have in your selling skills.

Your ability to get customers to open up will increase dramatically when you use short questions over the traditional long questions we as salespeople used to asking.

Copyright 2013, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.

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1 thought on “Power of Short Questions on a Sales Call”

  1. Mark,
    This is sooooo valuable. Totally and vitally on-point. The mistake I also find myself making is that I tend to ask 2-3 different questions all rolled into one – again, leaving my prospect a little befuddled. Keep it short is my new mantra. Thank you!
    — David

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