Why Sales Questions Build Confidence and Rapport

February 18, 2012 by  Filed under: Sales 

About 10 years ago, I was giving a selling skills workshop. It was in Indianapolis, scheduled for a half-day. In the middle of the presentation, one of the participants raised his hand and asked if he could share an experience with the group. His name was John.

John told the group that he and his wife had been looking for a baby sitter. Two to three weeks went by and they couldn’t find one so they placed an ad in the newspaper. A couple of teenagers called, and then a woman responded.

The woman started to ask John questions over the phone. Questions like: “What are the names of your children?” “How old are they?” “What did your children like most about the baby sitters you’ve had in the past?” “If your children could change anything about the baby sitters you’ve used in the past, what would they want to change?”

The woman asked a few more questions then gave a brief account of experiences. She also provided references and informed John and his wife that she was CPR certified.

As John was finishing his comments, a woman in the back of the room raised her hand. “Did you hire her?” she asked. Before John answered, I asked a question of my own. I turned to John and said, “John, when the woman was asking you all those questions how did it make you feel?”

Now here’s what John said, and I’ll never forget this. He said, “It made me feel infinitely more confident in her.”

Then I turned to the woman in the back of the room and asked her to repeat her question. “Well John, did you hire her?” And John said, “I booked her for three months.”

Why do questions build confidence?

How do questions build rapport and create a more positive response to us?

If really good questions are so powerful, why don’t more salespeople ask them?

Laziness, procrastination, and an “I’ve always done it this way” attitude are the three major roadblocks to asking better questions for most salespeople.

Your sales questions will only work if you prepare and practice them.

Good questions are seldom the result of spontaneous improvisation while you’re seated in front of your customer.

Awesome questions aren’t accidents or spontaneous. They are prepared and practiced in advance.

Awesome sales questions are always the result of preparation and execution. At the end of the day you’ll get the opportunity to deliver your products only if you deliver really good customer questions.

And by the way this article is Chapter 18 in my book, “The 12 Best Questions To Ask Customers.”

If you liked this Chapter you’ll probably enjoy the other 23 Chapters.


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