Close More Sales with These 11 Compelling Questions
Many elements come into play when successfully making sales. From developing products to better meet customers’ needs to deploying smart marketing, everything you do as a business should help make it easier for your customer to buy.
But regardless of how good your product and marketing is, without the ability to close sales you aren’t likely to make the profits you need to grow your business. In this article, we walk you through 11 questions you should be asking to successfully move your customers to a point of purchase.
Know Yourself & Your Customer First
Effective selling isn't a difficult concept to get your head around. It's the simple process of helping others problem-solve by connecting their challenges, wants and needs with the very best solutions you have to offer.
You can only make this connection if you have a thorough understanding of both parts of the equation:
1. Your offering
2. Your customers’ needs
Taking the time to fully understand your product/service will help you quickly and seamlessly make the connection to the challenge your customer is looking to solve. Proper and diligent customer research will help you easily make the connection in a way that is clear and easy for your customer to understand.
Getting to know your prospect provides you with the tools you need to resonate with them and compel them to act. Consider the questions below as guidelines and concepts which can be reformulated using a tone and terminology that your customer will be familiar with.
Closing Sales Questions
“Would [option 1], [option 2] or [option 3] work best for you?”
Presenting just one option to a potential customer can make the decision making the process very black and white, allowing for a quick 'yes or no' answer to be given. Laying out multiple options is a great way to prompt them to assess their wants and needs and match them to the options you present.
Delivering 2 to 3 options is the best way to get a positive response. More than this can lead to considerable confusion. When deciding these options, you should make sure they are differentiated based on a key factor that is of importance to your customer – most commonly price.
Take for instance a salesperson for a social media agency that offers three options to a potential client:
Option 1: 2 posts a week = £80
Option 2: 4 posts a week = £128
Option 3: 6 posts a week = £144
Although any of the three options may work for the customer, the middle option will appear to be the best compromise and most attractive. For this reason, it is important to read your customer’s needs and aim the middle option at what you believe to be the one they will buy.
“Is this going to meet your needs?”
When selling it is easy to get lost in the benefits and complexities of the product or service you have to offer. This fact can often lead to your customer losing track of the challenge they are trying to overcome.
By asking the simple question 'Is this going to meet your needs?' brings them back to the reason they are there to buy and gets them to qualify the solution you have offered in their mind.
Regardless of the answer, this question is going to help you understand exactly what you need to do to close. If the answer is yes, then you can move on to discussing price, if the answer is no, you can ask follow up questions as to why that is.
“If I can [X] would you buy?”
During sales conversations, you are inevitably doing to come across objections to buying your product or service. Using this question can help turn an objection into a powerful tool to sell.
By asking this question you are effectively asking ‘if I can fix your objection, will you buy?’….then all you need to do it find a suitable solution. If they answer no to this question, then there are likely further objections that you have not yet discovered.
“If I can get this down to [PRICE] would you buy?”
Similar in many ways to the previous question, when faced with a price-conscious customer this can be a good way to judge the price point at which they will buy.
The great thing about this question is the fact that it gets a conditional agreement from a customer without a full commitment from yourself. It lets you test the water on a variable that you likely already know the answer to.
If your customer answers this question with a 'no' then follow up by asking what price would get them interested in buying.
“Who should I make the invoice out to?”
Asking your prospect a question around the technicalities of the sale can make them move from ‘do I want to buy’ to ‘how am I going to buy’. This can be a good way to move a sale forward if you don’t think the customer is close to buying but needs a little more time before asking directly.
These types of questions also help you get ready to move once a deal has been agreed. Moving onto technicalities after a sale has been agreed can kill the buzz of a sales conversation, having this information beforehand is a good way to have your customer leave the call or meeting feeling good about the purchase they just made.
“So this will help overcome [challenge], [challenge] and [challenge] – shall we move ahead to the next step?”
Sales conversations can span hours of calls, emails and meetings. During this time you are going to highlight how your product and service is going to help your customer affordably meet their needs.
Using this question helps you quickly and concisely summarise all the challenges your offering is going to help overcome before asking whether they would like to move ahead with the purchase.
“If I throw in [extras] would that seal the deal?”
Sometimes you will be able to tell that your customer is right on the edge of making their buying decision. In these cases, throwing in a ‘sweetener’ is a great way to convince them to move ahead with the purchase.
This extra can be anything that you think the buyer will want. Often it is more powerful if it is something that the buyer will need to purchase anyway, saving them the time and money associated with finding and purchasing that item themselves.
For example, when selling a mobile phone, you may throw in an accessories pack with a phone case, screen protector and headphones to sweeten the deal.
“Do you know of any better options on the market?”
This question can be powerful but should be used with extreme caution. Asking your customer if they know of any better alternatives on the market should nudge them into realising your offer is the best they can get.
Of course, this question only works if you are the best option on the market. However, you may also use this question to identify competitors and which parts of their offering are most popular, using that information to help you form a more enticing offer.
“I’m only going to be able to do this deal for a limited time – do you want to secure it?”
Creating urgency around an offer is a great way to prompt a reaction. This can be especially powerful if you have spent some time going back and forth with a prospect, helping them chose the best option for them. They will not likely want to lose the deal they have already invested a lot of time in.
“Why don’t you try [product] and I will [guarantee] if it doesn’t work for you?”
Offering a guarantee on your product is the perfect way to remove risk for your customer whilst earning their full buy-in on what you are offering. This type of question is much easier to implement in the digital space, such as in software sales. For example, you may offer a prospective customer a full software licence for 2 months so they can decide if it works for them.
Getting the product into your customer's hands and getting them using it is a powerful selling tool. Not only will they be able to experience all the benefits of your offering, but they will also have invested time into learning how to use it – making them much more likely to buy at the end of the trial.
“Do you want to buy?”
Every question on this list will help you test your prospects willingness to buy or help them move closer to making a buying decision. This is all very well and good, but without asking this crucial question, you are unlikely to sell.
Timing the ‘do you want to buy?’ question is critical to success. Ask it too soon and your prospect may answer with a no. Ask it too late and your customer may have lost interest.
Salespeople can often be too wary about asking this question as is offers such a final answer. However, if you believe you have covered all your customer’s needs, it is crucial to ask for the sale.
No matter how good you are at selling, some people will just never buy what you have to offer – asking this question lets you move onto the next opportunity in these cases.
Better Questions Mean More Sales
Asking the right questions at the right time is the key to successful sales. Questions help you discover your customers’ needs and gets them to realise the potential of what you are offering. Simply broadcasting information can turn a customer off, using questions will help develop a two-way conversation which is much more likely to help you sell.