Close-ended inquiries have a terrible rep in the sales business, and we’re here to dispel that myth.
Close-ended inquiries, when utilized incorrectly (particularly at the improper sections of a sales interaction), can cripple your ability to close a prospect.
Don’t get it misconstrued, though: “By asking closed-ended questions, you can unearth demands that the prospect may not yet view as an issue, but when you ask so explicitly, they sometimes rethink,” writes sales guru Mike Schultz.
“Do all of your sales development reps use the technology to its maximum potential?” is an example.
Consider your sales game invincible if you know how to use the power of these questions and when to ask them.
The goal is to mix closed-ended and open-ended questions to elicit as much information as possible about your prospect while striving to get them to the finish line.
When To Use Closed-Ended Vs. Open-Ended Questions (And When Not To!)
Here’s some sales advice for everyone: “Questions are the most basic tool you have as a salesperson, but how you frame them is everything,”
Close-ended questions, on the other hand, start with verbs like “are,” “is,” “did,” “which,” and so on, but penetrating open-ended sales queries generally begin with words like “why” and “how.”
Close-ended questions are those that can only be answered with a yes or no.
While open-ended questions are useful for better understanding your prospect’s business and getting them to open up more during sales conversations, close-ended questions are great for:
- Obtain quantitative information from a lead.
- Learn the fundamentals of biographical information.
- Get precise and direct responses.
- Based on finances and time-frames, decide if it’s worthwhile to pursue a lead further.
- Set targets and KPIs that you want to meet or surpass.
- Accelerate the sales process.
Another brilliant way to use closed-ended questions? When you need to verify if a lead is cold or warm.
These questions are meant to help you obtain quick, specific replies, so don’t make a big list of them if you want to start a long conversation with a prospect or establish an emotional connection.
These Are Four Sorts Of Closed-Ended Inquiries That Every Salesperson Should Be Familiar With.
Closed-ended questions offer a number of benefits: they’re straightforward to answer, statistical analysis is easier, and they frequently yield more insight.
However, you cannot simply ask any question and expect it to assist close the transaction. Stick to these four sorts of closed-ended inquiries for sales to get the best results.
1. In Order Of Occurrence
What is the most important thing to your prospect? When you ask a closed-ended question like this, you’re attempting to discover more about their requirements.
Here’s what it looks like: “Please rate the following in order of significance from one to four, where one is most essential to you in a product and four is least important to you in a product: dependability, multi-functionality, user friendliness, and speed of service,”
2. It’s Either This Or That
The dichotomous closed-ended question may be the simplest for prospects to understand and respond to. There are just two potential replies if the question is phrased correctly: yes or no, or true or false — the only exception is if you pose a question that requires a direct response.
“Are you happy with your present vendor?” asks the question. “What is your preferred CRM?” or “What is your favourite CRM?”
3. Use A Traditional Checklist Or A Multiple-Choice Questionnaire.
This was everyone’s favourite in school, and it’s still a good bet on a sales call. Who doesn’t like having a lot of options?
Closed-ended multiple-choice questions generally have numerous parts: The core of the question is the proper answer, followed by distractor questions to put people off the scent of the correct answer, and finally several alternate solutions.
Furthermore, when you pose this style of question, you may limit the number of possible replies, making data collecting considerably easier. Win-win!
4. The 0-5 Scale Of Evaluation
Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Do you firmly agree or are you uncertain? This form of closed-ended question is familiar to you.
Closed-ended questions on a rating scale should be used by sales reps to assess information about a certain service, product, or feature, especially if qualitative metrics are included.
Here are two samples of these questions if you don’t know what they look like:
1. “How interested or disinterested are you in acquiring a sales engagement tool on a scale of 1 to 5?” “1 means you’re not interested at all, and 5 means you’re really interested.”
2. “Rate how much you agree with the following statement: ‘I understand who this product is for.’ “1 indicates that you strongly disagree, while 5 indicates that you firmly agree.”
35 Of The Finest Closed-Ended Questions To Ask Prospects For Salespeople
Use close-ended questions on your next sales call to elicit specific responses from your prospects about their company needs — you may choose from the following list:
1. What is your most important goal?
2. Which vendor(s) do you currently work with?
3. How did you hear about us and where did you hear about us?
4. Do you have any must-haves, should-haves, and could-haves for this solution?
5. Are you the one in charge of making decisions?
6. Who do we need to contact in order to conclude this deal?
7. How happy are you with your present sales figures?
8. Do you believe you have received all of the information you require?
9. When do you plan to make a buying decision?
10. Do you think you’ll buy something from us again?
11. Do you know what your key performance indicators (KPIs) are?
12. Are you evaluating us in comparison to other vendors?
13. Did you enjoy your competitor’s most recent marketing campaign?
14. May you tell me where I can learn more about what you do
15. Do you have any other goods or solutions that our product needs to work with?
16. Do you like this function that our product offers?
17. Do you believe you’ve done all possible with your [insert area] efforts?
18. Do you understand what I’ve said thus far?
19. Are you happy with our level of communication?
20. Would you like us to make your experience better?
21. Do you have any recommendations or comments?
22. Have you ever worked on a project like this before?
23. Have you encountered any difficulties in developing or delivering this type of product or service?
24. How can I assist you in expanding your company?
25. Do you believe this solution will assist you in improving your performance?
26. How did you feel about the product demonstration?
27. Do you plan to make a decision within the next two months?
28. Is this the kind of answer you’re after?
29. Would you suggest our product or service to a friend or colleague?
30. When do you want to schedule a follow-up?
31. Are you thinking about switching suppliers for this product?
32. Do you believe [insert problem area] is a concern for you?
33. Are you satisfied with your current supplier?
34. Is this within your price range?
Finally, it’s either go big or go home.
35. Are you ready to move forward with this? (OR: When are we going to start?)
Bonus: How would you grade our team’s service up to this point on a rating of 1-10?
Psst! While you’re rethinking which closed-ended questions to include in your sales pitch,contact us to know “how to supercharge your appointment scheduling?”
Vikas Bhatt is a demand generation, content syndication and a data cleansing ninja. He is the co-founder of OnlyB2B, a global organization that helps brands and businesses gain maximum leads and skyrocket revenue. You can get in touch with him on firstname.lastname@example.org