Sales Training Tip: Use “Close-Ended Questions”

Written By | Daily Thoughts | December 15th, 2010 | 5 Comments »

sales training tipBelow are some sales training tips you can use to increase sales and profits. The specific tip below is a strategy using “close-ended questions.”

#1: Start Sentences With Verbs

Closed ended questions start with verbs, such as “Are,” “Will,” “Is,” “Have,” “Did,” and even contractions such as “Aren’t,” “Didn’t,” and “Won’t.” This is often called a convergent question.

It brings conversation gradually to a convergence on a single point or decision. It is answered with a “yes” or a “no.” You use this question when you want to begin narrowing the conversation and getting specific answers that lead you to a conclusion or a commitment.

#2: Solicit More Specific Answers

You can use closed ended questions to get more specific answers. “Will you be making a decision within the next two months?” “Are you considering changing your suppliers for this product?” “Is this the sort of thing you are looking for?”

#3: Ask Them To Take A Position

A closed ended question forces the prospect to take a position. “Do you like what I’ve shown you?” “Does this make sense to you, so far?” “Would you like to get started on this right away?” You use this type of question when you want to get clear answers and bring the sales conversation to a close.

#4: When A “No” Means A “Yes”

The third type of question is a variation on the first two and is called the “negative answer” question. This is when a “no” means a “yes” to your proposition. “Are you happy with your existing supplier?”

If the customer says “no” it means that they are interested in considering a new supplier. “Are you getting the kind of results that you expected?” If the customer says “no”, it means that the customer is open to considering your product or service as an alternative.

Action Exercises

Here are two things you can do immediately to put these ideas into action.

First, begin closed-ended questions with verbs. Whenever you want the customer to be more specific or to take a definite stand on your product or service.

Second, ask closed-ended questions in a warm, friendly, curious tone of voice. Always be courteous, caring and concerned. Never use pressure or manipulation.

Check out my best-selling sales training program, The Psychology of Selling,   on iTunes!

About Brian Tracy – Brian Tracy is recognized as the top sales training and personal success authority in the world today. He has authored more than 60 books and has produced more than 500 audio and video learning programs on sales, management, business success and personal development, including worldwide bestseller The Psychology of Achievement. Brian’s goal is to help you achieve your personal and business goals faster and easier than you ever imagined. You can follow him on google+, facebook, and twitter.

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5 Comments

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  1. hot and cold lyrics says on April 17, 2013 at 12:02 am:

    Hello, I read your blog like every week. Your story-telling style is awesome,
    keep doing what you’re doing!

  2. Wendy Ager says on December 24, 2010 at 12:27 pm:

    Hi Brian,

    We all learn these things, but sometimes you put it in such a memorable way, that it makes it so simple to remember. You also show it in a way we can easily see the effectiveness of it.

    Thanks, as always, for sharing your wisdom,

    Wendy Ager

  3. Ryan Biddulph says on December 15, 2010 at 3:13 pm:

    Hi Brian,

    Excellent advice here.

    Starting sentences with verbs tends to move prospects into action.

    Being courteous and concerned when questioning moves force out of the equation, and this is a must since force negates.

    Thanks for sharing and have a powerful day!

    RB

  4. Barbara says on December 15, 2010 at 2:04 pm:

    great info & technique.

  5. Nick Moreno says on December 15, 2010 at 1:28 pm:

    As always… great material that will help people to grow their business.

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