Point 1: The ability to ask questions is an absolute must for successful selling. It is for want of good questions that poor salespersons find their presentations falling a mile wide of the mark.

Point 2: It’s not cheating to have your notes– questions, reminders–in front of you. It’s being smart, and making sure you don’t forget something important.

Point 3: Questions allow you to retain the initiative in the conversation. The conversation will continue along the lines indicated by your questioning, and gives you control.

Point 4: Questions allow you to adapt your conversation and modes of expression to the characteristics of each person you talk to. To sell well, you do not have to try to change your class or status or personality. You just have to ask the right questions, and then listen.

Point 5: Questions clarify. Few people can express an idea fully in one or two sentences. Use questions that begin: Who…? What…? Where…? When…? Why…? How…?

Point 6: You have the license to ask questions. Begin your dialogue by saying, “May I ask you a few questions?” People will act differently depending on the situation. As always, pay attention to signals. If the client if shifting around in his chair, he may be getting uneasy or impatient, and that is your cue to let go.

Point 7: To close, use a technique based on the conditional sentence: “If I… then will you…? For example, “If I can give you a competitively priced program for the finest software and full service, would you be interested?”

Taken from sales expert Hal Becker’s book, “Can I Have 5 Minutes of Your Time?”

Sign up for The Lead and get a new tip in your inbox every day!

More tips: