Category Archives: questioning funnel

November 5th, 2015

The Strategy of Questioning Skills

Questioning Strategy

Great Questioning Skills Have Two Components: Part I – The Strategy

There are two essential components to questioning skills in a sales environment. The first involves strategy — the “what” to ask. The second is about the “how” of asking questions. The art of getting better at both begins with preparation.

This post will focus on the strategy of questioning skills. Part II will cover the skills involved in how to ask questions with proper empathy, pacing, and back-and-forth dialogue.

The first element in establishing an effective questioning strategy is to identify what you want to learn from the client. This means establishing clear objectives but not just those related to what you want to get out of the meeting. Think about what it is that you want to leave behind. This doesn’t mean a brochure or other information but, more importantly, what is the perception that you want to leave behind.

As for type of questions, at Richardson we often refer to the concept of a questioning funnel. At the top are big, overarching questions — such as the client’s goals and objectives — moving down to more granular questions about implementation and decision criteria.

Often, salespeople find it hard to start with big questions. They think too broad: “Tell me about the business and what you want to achieve.” If they have an existing relationship with the client, they usually start with what’s currently going on » Continue Reading.

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