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The Art of Open-Ended Questions in Sales

Asking the right questions at the right time and place is an art in Marketing. It can help you bring value to your prospects, customers, and yourself. You need sets of some good questions to keep the flow or to know more about your customers.

These high-value questions for sales have the power to create a better learning experience for either end of the deal. Usually, depending on the quality of the questions, these give value to both parties.

One similarity between these good questions is that all these questions are open-ended. If you are a salesperson, you must be familiar with this term. If not, let me help you.

Open-Ended Questions:

Open-ended questions are the ones that can’t be answered with just one word. These questions prompt a long answer that leads to a long and qualitative conversation.

For example, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” is one of the most common open-ended questions. The answer to this question can vary from person to person. This answer is only possible with the unique and open-ended perspective.

It is just like how Google’s LaMDA works. Whenever you ask an open-ended question, it gives you an open-ended answer in return. This helps you keep the conversation going. This makes conversation long, qualitative, and meaningful.

Open-Ended Vs Close-Ended

As said, Open-ended questions open a long conversation. These questions start with “why?”, “how?” or “what if?” On the other hand, close-ended questions are the ones that can be answered with one word only.

Like if I ask, do you live in NYC? The answer would be either Yes or No. It ends the conversation right away. You need to put some effort into thinking new questions to keep the conversation going.

This forceful conversation is less resulting sometimes. A right balance between these open-ended and closed-ended questions creates a good prospect or sales pitch.

If you are only looking for one-word or quantitative answers, then choosing close-ended questions is good. This can be anything like revenue, the total number of employees, address, locations, or other quantitative elements.

But if you are looking towards learning more qualitative answers during your first approach, open-ended questions must be in your arsenal. You can conduct your meeting over Sarv Audio Bridge for quick sessions, or you can use Sarv Wave to feel a little close to your customers. You can schedule your meetings for the near future and build a safe and secure relationship with your customers.

Asking Open-Ended Questions:

At the end of the meeting, if you ask your customer, “Did they find the meeting meaningful?”. This will be a close-ended question, and it will not give you a qualitative answer.

In reply, you will only get a yes, no, or two or three-word answer.

Instead of this, try to ask them, “How was your experience during this meeting, and what the values that you gained from it?”

This will provoke your customers to give long and explanatory answers to you. This long answer will start a conversation with qualitative information.

Let me give you some tips on how to ask open-ended questions.

Identify The Right Place:

Before asking, think if you were going to ask a close-ended question or an open-ended one. Identify the right place for these questions. When you need a more qualitative and big answer, try to go with open-ended questions.

Follow Close-Ended with Open-Ended Questions:

If you really need to ask a close-ended question like “Did you like our product?” follow it up with an open-ended question like “If yes, then please tell us what and why?”

Start With Open-Ended Questions:

Open-ended questions are designed, or I say, destined to start a conversation. You can never expect a long and meaningful conversation from a close-ended question. If you start with an open-ended question, you can counter the answer by properly listening to them. You should always come with questions ready for all kinds of answers you get.

Some Open-Ended Questions:

  • What are the top priorities of your business at this moment?
  • Tell me about the best decisions you made related to ____?
  • Can you explain your current situation?
  • What are your five years plans for your business if you choose our services?
  • What kind of opportunity are you looking for?
  • What challenges are you facing to grab these opportunities?

This is how your can aid your sales team by telling them how they can start a meaningful conversation with customers. You can use our software too to make these meetings more efficient, effective, quick, and money-saving. To know more about this software, drop us an email or contact us over a call.

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