3 Types of Questions Salespeople Should Never Ask

User AvatarTyson Parsons

Don’t use these 3 types of sales questions when talking to prospects

Asking questions can be a great way for a salesperson to get more information about a customer’s needs, see what services they’re looking for, or just more about their thought process. But asking cliche sales questions, hypothetical questions, or questions that cause shame or guilt is not the way to close a deal. Here are examples of what questions to avoid when trying to connect with prospects.

#1 Cliche Sales Questions

We all dread overeager salespeople that pester us to sign a deal that we don’t feel good about. The image of a used car salesman comes to mind when reading cliche sales questions like these below. This is the opposite of what being a successful salesperson looks like.

Here are some examples:

  • If I could wave a magic wand, what issue would you want fixed?
  • I want to get you signed today, how can I make that happen?
  • What will it take to get your business?
  • What keeps you up at night?

#2 Hypothetical Questions

Hypothetical questions aren’t always bad but take the example below, when you ask a customer a question phrased like this it forces them to make a decision right on the spot when they’re not ready. That’s a quick way to get a customer to shut down during a pitch and typically avoid signing a contract or regretting it if they do.


  • If I could give you a 20% discount, would you buy today?
  • Would a discount change your mind?

#3 Questions Causing Guilt or Shame

The last thing you want to do when talking to a prospect is make them feel bad about saying no or being unsure of committing to a contract. Not everyone has the same budget or needs but there are more tactful ways to ask them questions without causing guilt, shame, or embarrassment like these examples.

Examples of guilt-causing questions:

  • Do you realize doing X is essential to your business?
  • How can you justify not doing X?
  • What’s your budget?
  • You don’t have the power to make this decision on your own?

What Questions Do You Ask?

Instead of falling into these types of sales questions, opt for more open-ended sales questions that get a conversation flowing without judgement or pressure. If you don’t know where to start, check out our guide to what open ended questions to ask and how!

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