Can you really leverage sales questions to demonstrate your expertise? Absolutely. And it’s one of the best ways I know to show that you’re a smart, savvy seller who could bring value to a relationship.

The way to do this is to wrap up a question with your knowledge and insight. For example, I might ask a potential prospect “What kinds of problems are your salespeople facing today?” It’s a nice open-ended question and might get someone talking.

Or, I could say “Based on my work with a number of other sales forces, I find that the top three issues they’re facing are:

  • Difficulty setting up initial meetings with key decision-makers;
  • Getting customers to decide to change from the status quo; and
  • Differentiating themselves from the competition.
  • Which of these is having the most impact on your sales force?”

See the difference? In the first one, I asked a simple, open-ended sales question. In the second one, I used my experience with what other similar customers are facing to set up the question. Plus, I asked a more pointed question—one that will get me better answers. And finally, I let him know that I have worked with other people like him.

You, too, have expertise. Think about how you can leverage it to ask insightful, provocative sales questions that will demonstrate your experience. I promise it’ll have an impact.

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Jill Konrath is the author of SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies. If you’re struggling to set up meetings, click here to get a free Prospecting Tool Kit.