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Practice Management > Building Your Business

5 lame sales questions advisors need to avoid

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During a workshop with a client, we were discussing the importance of asking the right questions. One person spoke up and said, “I like to ask, ‘What do you know about us?’” An uncontrollable groan escaped when I heard this. But it got me thinking about other lame questions salespeople ask. Here are a few that I’ve heard over the years and still continue to hear.

1. “What are your needs?” Really? You seriously think this question separates you from your competitor? Using this question automatically turns you into an order-taker, not a sales-maker.

2. “Are you the decision-maker?” Although there is nothing technically wrong with this question, it usually results in a yes response. A more effective way to get this information is to ask, “Who else do you normally consult with on decisions of this nature?”

3. “What is your budget?” Many people haven’t established a budget or don’t know what to budget for a particular purchase. Do them and yourself a favor and focus on exploring their problems and presenting a solution that addresses those issues and budget becomes less of a concern.

4. “Do you want to save (money/time/other lame benefit)?” Don’t insult my intelligence. Enough said.

5. “Do you want this (whatever feature)?” I don’t even know what that feature is. How can I possibly tell you if I want it? Oh, wait! If I say that, then it gives you the opportunity to start talking about your product. Now I get it …

I trust you don’t ask these weak, feeble, lame questions. If you happen to work with people who do, print this post and place it on their desk. Maybe they’ll get the hint.

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Kelley Robertson helps sales professionals master their sales conversations so they can win more business at higher profits. Get a free copy of “100 Ways to Increase Your Sales” and “Sales Blunders That Cost You Money” at


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