Open-ended questions cannot be answered with one-word answers; that’s why these questions are asked for a purpose to begin a conversation. For example, if anybody asks you ‘Where do you see yourself in the next five years?’ The answer to this question that you give may vary from person to person, and every answer will have its own unique perspective that usually comes with a long conversation. If we talk about open-ended sales questions especially during the initial discovery calls with your promising buyers, play a vital role in building a bond of trust and rapport with them. It helps you to understand your buyers’ needs & expectations that eventually initiate a positive relationship. Let us explore in detail how to as open-ended sales questions while prospecting.
Start framing open-ended questions:
Before prospecting a buyer make a practice of framing open-ended questions by analyzing what sorts of questions you ask at the time of prospecting. This approach will help you in prospecting your buyers effectively and if you have a habit of asking close-ended questions then it will also help you to get rid of it, making you prospecting better.
If you asked a close-ended question then open it at the end:
If by any chance in hurry you asked any close-ended question to your prospect then you always have an option to follow it up with an open-ended one. Let’s take an example if you asked your prospect “Do you think this information is helpful to you?” then you can end it up as an open-ended question by adding, “If yes, then how and if no, how.”
Listen to the answers of open-ended questions actively:
Only asking open-ended sales questions not enough for effective prospecting, you need to pay attention to the answers you receive in return from your prospects. Try to analyze those answers, understand what your prospects want, and then pick the keywords out of those answers that help you further to frame more specific open-ended questions. In this way, you can make your prospect understand that you know what they want and they start looking at you as a trusted advisor.
Let’s look into a few examples of open-ended questions that you can ask your prospects:
What are the major objectives of your business at present?
One of the most useful questions that can be asked by you during prospecting your buyer is, “What are the major objectives of your business at present?” Asking your prospect to share his/her business objectives invites them to give a detailed view of their present state of the business. This information helps you to position your products and services as a solution that resonates with their objectives.
What decisions you’ve made related to XYZ situation in your business?
Ask your prospects questions based on specific situations, how they managed in those situations, and how they came out to be successful in solving those issues. Ask them to share their success stories. These questions help you in analyzing what has recently gone well with your prospects and accordingly you can showcase your products and services.