Engaging Sales Questions to Qualify and Close More Deals

Engaging sales questions require you to understand the prospect. They are usually open-ended and focus on voice, body language, and nonverbal cues.

As a sales professional, you must put in the time, effort, and research to ask insightful questions. That’s why we compiled this list of sales questions that you can use to find more qualified prospects. 

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How Do You Define an Engaging Sales Question?

A good sales question helps you learn more about your prospect, so you can close the deal and work with them. These questions aim to pry out information about the prospect that they might not volunteer otherwise.

Similar to discovery questions, but more in-depth, engaging sales questions help uncover hidden information. The best practice is to begin with, discovery questions. Then, move on to probing questions, as the latter delves deeper into the topic.

Engaging Sales Questions That You Should Ask

Discovery questions aid in locating a vulnerability that can be exploited, while probing questions provide insight into the best means of doing so. Let’s look at sample questions that can be used as openers in your sales pitch.

1. How Would You Characterize the Issue at Hand?

In sales, this is one of the most useful questions because it helps you quickly zero in on the core of the prospect’s problem. Don’t stop questioning them at the first sign of confusion. Ask some more in-depth questions afterward.

Inquire about when the issue first surfaced, how much damage it is causing, and what they think is causing it. This type of question is a “string question” because it’s most effective when used with other questions and follow-ups.

Your answer to this question will lead you to the information you need to close the sale with the potential customer successfully. Therefore, it is most effective at the outset of the sales process. If you are further down the sales pipeline, it won’t be effective.

Additionally, it can be used in further negotiations with the same prospect, though it should be used only once per negotiation.

2. Have You Considered Costs?

This is a fantastic question because it addresses the burning question on every salesperson’s mind: can the prospect afford the deal? This isn’t a question that requires a definitive answer; rather, it’s meant to reveal the prospect’s level of interest and dedication.

Whenever you ask a potential client this, you should be ready to make concessions and adjust your sales presentation accordingly. Ask how often they conduct budget planning meetings if you want more specific responses. Ascertain if their budget is annual, biannual, etc. Setting a particular time frame to complete the task at hand is a huge help.

You should save this potentially awkward question for the very end of the buying process. Don’t bring it up during negotiations or when you’re having trouble reaching an agreement. In addition to filling customers in on what they need to know, it can create a sense of urgency and closure.

3. How Will You Determine When It’s Time to Shut Down Operations?

While this sales technique (deep probing) won’t close deals for you, it will help you a great deal in doing so. If the other person lets you in on how they’ll make a choice, you can make that choice for them.

You can accomplish this by tailoring your sales presentation to meet the needs of your target audience. Provide expedited shipping if time is an issue, and help set up if necessary. The prospect will appreciate your candor if you are specific and to the point. The sales process will go more smoothly if you get detailed information from the prospect.

This type of question illustrates a deep, probing sales question when dealing with a hesitant prospect. This shows that you care about the other person’s perspective and are willing to put yourself in their shoes. Using this method, you can ask pertinent questions without being intrusive.

4. How Would You Describe Your Current Situation?

The beauty of this question lies in its apparent fuzziness. With this sales-probing inquiry, you can learn how your prospect conceptualizes the problem, the pain, and the ideal outcome of your collaborative sales process.

Before you ask that, though, you should check the literature. If the situation is obvious and well-known, your prospect will become irritated, and you will look foolish for asking the question. Instead, you should ask this perceptive inquiry once you’ve progressed further along the sales pipeline. These questions also work when you need a comprehensive update from your prospect, including information you can’t find out on your own.

Like the third question, this one is meant to help you get to know your prospect better. The key difference is that this question aims to build rapport rather than simply learn information. Ask this after establishing a solid rapport with someone rather than when you’re just starting.

5. Why Isn’t Your Current Product Working for You?

This is a typical question to ask a potential client to learn more about their problems, so you can offer solutions. It explains why they need a product and gives you leverage in negotiations by highlighting the benefits of your product.

Excellent application of “solution-based” sales techniques. This inquiry is optimistic because it shifts the emphasis away from the present discomfort or immediate need. It concentrates on the positive outcomes that could be achieved through future collaboration. Clients who come to you because their product isn’t meeting their needs likely have extra problems you can help them solve.

Therefore, this is a good sales question to ask if you want to keep in touch with your prospect for the long haul. It’s most effective in sales processes where there’s a lot of back-and-forth between the salesperson and the potential customer. Keep your wits about you and be ready to address any concerns the prospect may have.

Final Words

Engaging sales questions is designed to probe a prospect’s interests. If you use them effectively by strategically timing when to deploy them, they can significantly impact your closing percentage.

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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