Another Great Reason
to Ask Good Questions

Ask Good Sales Questions

by: Rob Reed

Sales experts have concluded that successful selling is not about talking features and benefits. Instead, successful sales people ask good sales questions to better understand the prospect’s needs.

Of course, clearly identifying and understanding your prospect’s needs is extremely important, but is there another reason that you should rely heavily on asking appropriate questions?


Trust in the salesperson is often the number-one decision factor, so higher trust versus your competition will lead to more sales. Credibility is a key ingredient in building trust, and questions can help you build credibility with your prospects.

Here’s the proof.

In a series of experiments, researchers told two people they were going to play a quiz game. One person was the “Questioner,” and the other was the “Contestant.” The researcher told the Questioner to ask ten difficult but not impossible questions based on one of the Questioner’s particular interests. In this situation, someone interested in stock car racing, for example, might ask questions on NASCAR, even if the Contestant knew nothing about the subject.

After the quiz was over, the Contestants nearly always rated the Questioners as being smarter than themselves. Even when told before the quiz that the questions would be biased in favor of the Questioner, the Contestants still rated the Questioners as smarter.

The conclusion is clear: When you ask informed questions, you are perceived as a smarter person.

Now imagine that the participants in this situation are seller and prospect. Too often during presentations and/or sales calls, the seller (you) provides information and the audience (the prospect) asks questions. But now you know that the individual who acts as Questioner will most likely be perceived as smarter — and therefore increase his or her credibility.

If you haven’t already, wouldn’t it be a good idea to incorporate more questions in your sales calls and/or presentations whenever possible? Do it — you’ll add to your credibility and increase your prospect’s trust.