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Ask questions to uncover clients' perfect world

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Our next step in reducing sales resistance is to ask more questions to help the client discover or expand upon his needs.

We do this by asking the right types of questions. You’re going to want to ask open-ended questions that get detailed answers and engage the client in deeper and more thought-provoking conversations. This step of needs analysis is what I call discovery and qualifying. Open-ended questions require thought on the part of the individual and encourage discussion. Avoid “yes” or “no” answers. These types of questions usually start with the basics we’ve learned in elementary school English: who, what, where, when, and why?

For example, I like to use the acronym NEADS. What does he have now? What does he enjoy about what he is currently using? What would he alter, or change? Who is the decision-maker? And ? prove to him that you have the ability to research and analyze his needs to uncover the best solution.

Now that you and your client have a clear understanding of what his needs are, it is time to help him want your solutions. In this part of the process, what we are trying to accomplish with our client is to get him to expand upon his current situation. I also like to ask questions that help clients to mentally take ownership of my financial recommendations and the solutions that will be provided by the products I sell. Products provide solutions to a client’s problems, so I sell solution-based products.

If he is interested in taking income, I ask, “Do you typically take income monthly, quarterly, twice a year, once a year? What would you prefer?” Let him answer the question. Also include questions about his taxes. “Are you comfortable paying taxes at the level you’re at or would you like to reduce your taxes? Are you able to take advantage of all your write-offs? Would you like to get more taxable income to take advantage of your write-offs, or would you like tax-referenced or tax-free income?”

I also want to know what he’s doing now, if he is happy and why. What changes, if any, he would not want to make going forward. What would he like to keep the same? If he makes the change, how does he see himself benefiting from that? If there is something he did not like about what he was doing, how would he like those changes going forward? In a utopian world, how will he pay for his financial future?

Then I ask questions like, “Is doing business with a well-known, well-respected company important to you? If it is, why?” I want to find out about his heirs and if their legacy is important to him. I want to know how this money impacts his life and the life of his children, or his grandchildren going forward. In the perfect world, how does he see himself utilizing this money? What would this money mean to him and his heirs? When he answers these questions, he mentally already owns your solutions. Your job now is to pick the appropriate product to satisfy their needs.


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