Have you struggled more than once to keep a conversation going with a customer? It’s probably because you’re asking good questions but in the wrong way. All reps want to accomplish the goal of connecting to your customer, finding their pain points, and closing the deal and there’s a faster and better way to do it by asking open-ended sales questions. Find out the difference between open and closed-ended questions, 22 awesome examples, and how to change your question strategy.
The difference between open-ended and closed-ended sales questions
Open-ended sales questions are more detailed questions that allow customers to give reps a longer, more informational answer as opposed to a one word response. Closed-ended sales questions can be answered with a simple “Yes” or “No,” and have a limited set of possible answers. Closed-ended questions aren’t bad to ask, but open-ended questions are a better alternative to help quickly identify customer pain points and solutions.
Now that the difference between these types of questions is clear, let’s figure out why we should be asking them and how to adjust our current questions to be more open.
Why ask open-ended questions?
In a customer conversation you’re trying to figure out their pain points and how to solve them, which some reps can do in a closed question conversation but it takes more time and is harder work. By adjusting the same topic of questions to be more open-ended, you get more information and personality out of your customer faster. Using open-ended questions with your prospects is helpful because it:
- Guides the conversation.
- Gets the customer more engaged in the conversation.
- Leads to higher close rates.
- Helps you find out more about your customers pain points.
How to ask open-ended sales questions
These are some examples that can help guide you to asking your questions the right way to connect better with your customers in conversation. You’re likely asking questions with good intent but they can be answered with a simple “yes” or “no” that closes off the conversation. Here’s how you can mix it up:
- Are you satisfied with our service?
- Does that work for you?
- Do you like that solution?
- Is this easy to use?
- How are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the service we’ve provided?
- What do you think about that feature?
- How would you adjust this to fit your needs better?
- What worked best for you when using this service?
The important difference here is that you are going to get more specific answers from the customers if you ask open-ended questions as opposed to a “yes” or “no” question. Letting your customers respond with one word is a quick way to kill the pitch and start closing that open line of communication. We have examples for you to use below to avoid that.
22 Perfect open-ended sales questions
All of these questions are examples that can be changed depending on your industry and target customer. The important principle to take away from these questions is that they get the customer talking about the problems they’re facing, what solutions have worked for them in the past, and gives you all the information you need to sell your services as the best solution for them.
11 Business-to-consumer (B2C) questions:
- What about this solution has worked for you in the past? And what didn’t work?
- If we adjusted [offer option] would that help make this tool more useful for you?
- What are some of the biggest problems you faced in the last year being a homeowner?
- What [pest, solar, roofing] solutions have you used for your home in the past? What about those worked?
- Why do you feel the need to change your [pest, solar, roofing] solution now?
- What have been your past experiences when choosing a solution for this problem?
- What are you looking to get out of this solution?
- How familiar are you with the options we have for your problem?
- Is budget an obstacle when making this decision?
- Are there questions you have for me about using this solution?
- What is the best way to follow up with you about this decision: email, phone call, text?
11 Business-to-business (B2B) questions:
- How many apps are you using to run your business right now?
- What are some of the biggest struggles you faced with your business in the last year?
- Since using our product, what are some of the improvements you’ve seen?
- Is there anyone else you think should be included in this decision making process?
- What are you goals for the next 3-6 months?
- What is your process for evaluation new tools and services before purchasing?
- Why is this solution a priority for you now?
- Was your budget a problem in deciding on this solution previously?
- What does success for your team or business look like?
- What hurdles have stopped you from reaching your goals in the past?
- When is a good date to follow up with you?
Start asking the right questions
Hopefully you’ve learned the difference between open and closed-ended questions, why it’s important to ask the right questions, and the dos and don’ts of asking the right questions. If you want to learn more about sales techniques and ways to get the most out of your customer conversation, set up a free demo with us today and we’ll help you set up your process!