Closed-Ended Questions

Written By | Sales Success | December 12th, 2007 | 4 Comments »

Closed-ended questions allow you to get definite answers and move toward closing the sale.

Start Sentences With Verbs
Closed-ended questions allow you to get definite answers and move toward closing the sale. 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.

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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?”

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.

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.

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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