Yesterday I was crossing the Canada/U.S. border en route to work with a new client. The custom’s officer asked the typical questions, such as “What’s your citizenship?” and “Do you have any food or alcohol?” Then, as she handed me my passport, she asked, “What else would you like to add?”

A dozen thoughts ran through my head before I smiled and said, “It’s a great day isn’t it?” We exchanged a few more pleasantries and I headed toward the interstate. For several minutes, I wondered why she had asked that question, because in my mind, it had seemed very random. However, I started to think about the possible responses she might get to that question.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that this could be a great question to ask new prospects. It could uncover additional opportunities, potential challenges or roadblocks or reveal another motivating factor behind the decision to buy.

I once spoke to a manager who told me about an interview he had recently conducted. During the interview he asked, “What else should I know that you haven’t told me yet?” The person he was speaking with replied, “I have a criminal record.” Further questioning uncovered that the potential candidate had been jailed for fraud. (Needless to say, he wasn’t hired.)

During your next sales meeting, whether face-to-face or on the telephone, consider asking this open-ended question when you think you have all the information you need to move forward. You may just uncover something important that will influence your approach, affect your solution or improve your offering.

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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 http://www.Fearless-Selling.ca.