Effective questioning is a critical sales skill for several reasons. First, our recent research shows that there is a direct correlation between the success of a sales call and the type of questions that the salesperson uses. On average, failed sales calls include 86% more close-ended questions than open-ended questions.

Successful Sales Calls Have 25% More Open-Ended Questions.

Second, your questions help customers make their first key buying decision, which is whether to buy you, the salesperson. Questions build rapport and demonstrate your interest in the customer. They uncover information about the customer’s needs, who to call on, the decision-making time-frame, your competition and how the customer will make a decision. When you ask the “best” questions, customers will view you as a consultant with their best interests in mind.

Third, questions help you manage the sales call. You can control the conversation and differentiate yourself from competitors by being the best listener.

But merely asking questions isn’t enough. You need to ask “The Best Sales Questions.” For example, asking questions that draw out needs for your product’s strengths can position you as the best or only solution for the customer’s needs.

Sales Skills – In The Field

Asking “The Best Sales Questions” allows you to uncover your customer’s real needs and meet them with the right solution. A sales representative from WESCO International, Inc., a $4 billion electrical equipment provider, used the Action Selling(TM) process to do just that.

Great questions helped the sales rep land a new account on the first call. By zeroing in on the key needs behind a contractor’s stated requirements, he was able to craft a bid that matched those needs exactly. He won the business (a $77,000 order) and opened the door for future opportunities.

Contact Action Selling to learn more about Sales Skills Effectiveness 1-800-232-3485.

Duane Sparks - Sales Training in Action: The Evolved Sales Pro


Duane Sparks is founder and chairman of The Sales Board, the authoritative source of practical and leading-edge information about the art and science of selling. He has created Action Selling sales training products and learning systems that transform sales organizations. Duane is author of these best-selling books: Action Selling, Selling Your Price, Questions (the Answer to Sales), Masters of Loyalty (How to turn your sales force into a loyalty force), and Sales Strategy from the Inside Out (How complex selling really works).

Discover how the best sales training process can make spectacular improvements in sales skills. Action Selling: How to Sell Like a Professional (Even If You Think You are One).