Questioning Strategy leads to a Full Sales Funnel

alt textUsing the right questioning strategy is the quickest way to fill up the sales funnel. Unfortunately, the art of questioning is not something usually covered in much detail in any career sales training.

The time to develop your questioning strategy is when you are putting together your sales call plan. There are 5 basic types of questions and when to ask them can make a difference.

Career Sales Training - Questions

The first step to figuring out when and what to ask your client is to

Ask yourself "if you could get any information from the client what would you want to know?"

Write down your answers.

  • Prioritize your answers from must have to nice to have.
  • First ask yourself "Is there another way to get this information without asking the client?" you might only get a short meeting with the Vice President or decision maker so you want to make the best use of your time.

    Can you find out the information on the internet or from someone you know at the company or another sales person who deals with that company but sells a different product or service.

  • Now put together the questions (see below) on your sales call plan.
  • What is your strategy to get this information from the client? Meeting, phone call, etc.


Types of Questions

  1. Open ended question invites a discussion and usually start with what, why, how, describe, tell me, etc.

    When do you use an open ended question?

    - You need more detail

    - Get an opinion

    - Have an open discussion

  2. Closed question is answered with a yes or no or a factual piece of information (like the date, model number, etc.)

    Avoid using when there is a great conversation going.

    When do you use a closed question?

    - To frame something - "Are you happy with the speed of your computers?"

    - Repeating and rephrasing what the client said and see if you understood it correctly

  3. Funnel questioning seeks further information by asking questions that request more and more detail with each question.

    These are "tell me more" type questions. For example, Someone says "I left the cafe and saw a green truck." You say tell me more about the green truck.

    You can also asks things like "what specifically", "who actually", "What exactly do you mean by..", etc.

    When do you use a funnel question?

    - You are trying to gain the confidence and build rapport & interest with the client.

    - You need additional detail so you progress them through a funnel requesting more and more detail as you go.

  4. Leading questions suggests the answer or contains the information your are looking for

    Sales people use leading questions to close the deal. "What else can you tell me about your delivery requirements?"

    When do you use a leading question?

    - Getting the answer you want while leading them where you want them to go

  5. Probing questions are asked when you need additional detail. You might ask a client for additional clarification, why this is a problem or why they want to do this, who is involved, etc.

    When do you use a probing question?

    - When you trying to get information from a client who is not offering up what you need to know.

    - You need additional specific information


Having a good questioning strategy is a great step to take in filling up the sales funnel.

Quota Busters To Try Today

- Go thorough your list of clients/potential clients and pick 2 or 3 to use this questioning strategy.

- Ask yourself if you could get any information from the client what would you want to know?"

- Based on your answer put a sales call plan in place to ask your client these questions either through email, by phone or in person.

- If you can not set up a meeting send the client an email, call them or run into them briefly and ask just 1 question. Clients will usually give you a few minutes and that is all you need.


Top of Questioning Strategy page



Questioning Strategy to Career Sales Training



Questioning: Your Strategy to Sales Training for Business