When it comes to successfully making the connection needed to sell a product, there’s one undeniable truth: it’s not what you say, it’s what you ask.

Sometimes we sell a product, but other times we sell an appointment or a meeting. Depending on the commitment objective we’ve set for the interaction, the right questions can change. Figuring out the right questions starts with understanding the customer’s needs — determining what their problems or opportunities are, both at the company level and at the personal level.

In order to get to the very best questions to ask your customers when selling a product or service, though, you’ll have to dig deep.

How do you make sure customers answer the questions you ask when selling a product?

First things first — before asking anything beyond the surface level, you’ll need to establish rapport with the customer and offer a logical reason for asking questions. Customers are more willing to discuss their needs when they feel understood and when they see the value in answering your questions. Here’s how to make sure they’re open to the questions you ask:

  • Phrase Questions Effectively. This is critical. Avoid poorly phrased or redundant questions that may frustrate the customer. Instead, ask questions that are relevant, insightful and contribute to better understanding their needs.
  • Sell Strategically. Understand not only what to sell but also how to sell. This involves uncovering information about competitors, the buyer’s time frame and the people influencing the buying decision. Adjust your approach and commitment objective based on the information gathered during the sales process and ask questions that highlight that knowledge.
  • Adapt and Adjust. Continuously assess whether your commitment objective aligns with the information gathered during the sales process. Be prepared to adjust your approach — such as meeting with other decision-makers or adding milestones — to keep the process moving forward effectively.

So… what are the best questions to ask customers when selling a product?

The best questions to ask customers when selling a product or service are ones that uncover their needs, preferences and constraints. The goal is to give you or your sales team the ability to tailor your approach and present your product or service as the best solution for their specific situation. 

We recommend taking the following questions and adapting them to your unique offering:

  • If you look at your company’s current situation, what would you say is the single biggest challenge you face?
  • In your opinion, what’s causing this problem?
  • What are the consequences to your company and to you personally if the problem isn’t solved and the current situation drags on?
  • Can you describe the ideal outcome or solution you’re looking for?
  • What specific features or capabilities are most important to you?
  • Have you tried any similar solutions in the past? What did you like or dislike about them?
  • What timeline are you working with for implementing a solution?
  • Who else is involved in the decision-making process and what are their priorities?
  • How did you measure success or ROI for solutions you’ve used before?
  • What budget considerations do you have for this project?
  • Can you share any concerns or reservations you have about moving forward with a solution?

Interested in seeing how skilled your sales team is at asking questions?

Try our FREE sales skills assessment to see where they excel during the selling process — and where they could use a little help.

With 90% of senior executives failing to reach strategic goals due to poor execution, the advantage of better techniques through strategic training is undeniable.

Stay tuned to learn more about the other Acts of selling — and see how they all fit together to create a training program that delivers long-lasting success for your entire team.