NLP for Selling & Sales, Part 3 – Sales Questions

In this week’s Prescription for Success, we’re going to be taking a  look at different types of questions that may be useful for sales and selling.

We’re going to consider  two main types of questions today, ‘open questions’ and ‘closed questions’. Watch the video, have a test of the different types of questions for yourself and let me know how you get on.

Closed Questions

When you are in conversation with someone you may have noticed that sometimes you may be asked a ‘closed question’ which has quite a narrow focus and is really just about a yes or no answer or a single-word answer.

I’m filming near a chicken coup today,  and as a humorous example I was hoping to use a chicken to demonstrate closed and open questions but they obviously not up for any questioning today.  However,  if I was going to ask a chicken a closed question I’d say “Have you laid an egg today?” and they’d say “yes or no”.  The closed question doesn’t require a detailed answer.

Open Questions

On the other hand, ‘Open questions’  are broader and require a more detailed answer.

Using our chicken to demonstrate this, I could ask the chicken “Well how is the egg laying going?” which requires a more detailed answer. For example,   “I’m laying most days but I’m quite happy with how it’s going and it’s all very comfortable and everyone’s very supportive here” .

That’s the difference between a closed question (the yes or no) and an open question.

Open and Closed Questions in Sales

In the sales both open and closed questions are useful.

Open questions will allow you to find out what’s important to your prospect about what is being sold. Whereas, a closed question is good to to get a decision from your prospect for example, ‘If I did it for this price and gave you you what you wanted and gave it within your time scale would you buy it?

So the open questions are where you get to know more from the client’s perspective. However, closed questions can be analyzed and as there’s a specific range of answers, you may be able to put them in a spreadsheet and draw a graph.

In sales it helps to use both types of questions.  Think about the type of answer you are looking for and use the appropriate type of question to solicit that answer.

Over to you – have a go at asking both open and closed questions and take note of how you can rephrase questions in order to get the information you require.

I hope this is useful within the sales and your life perspective.

Until Next Week

Dr Bridget- Finding the right questions for you.