CLOSE-ENDED QUESTIONS IN COMMUNICATION
A close-ended question is a question that obliges a prospect to take a position during the course of sale and allows the seller to get specific answers that help move a step closer toward closing the sale. Questions such as,
- “Do you like what I’m showing you?”
- “Does this make sense to you, so far?”
- “Is it something you’d like to get started on right away?”
These are the type of questions you would use when you want to get clear answers and bring the sales process to a close.
Start your close-ended questions with a Verb: Close-ended questions allow the salesperson to get those specific answers that help the selling process to move a step closer toward closing the sale.
Always start your close-ended questions with a verb, such as,
In addition, contractions such as,
are also just as effective the majority of times. In fact, they are often called convergent questions.
Any verb-based close-ended question is usually a question that brings conversation gradually to a pinnacle on a single point or decision. But the best part is, all verb-based close-ended question are mostly answered with a “yes” or a “no.”
It’s a style of question you use when you want to begin narrowing the conversation and getting specific answers that lead to a conclusion or a commitment.
Ask for more specific answers: You use close-ended questions in order to get more specific answers.
Here are a few you can use,
- “Will you be making a decision within anytime soon?”
- “Are you considering changing your suppliers in the near future?”
- “Is this the kind of thing you are looking for?”
A “negative answer” question implies a “no” means a “yes.” The third way you can use close-ended questions is a variation on the first two questions and is generally referred to as a “negative answer” question.
In other words, this is when a “no” means a “yes.”
As an example you could ask,
- “Are you happy with your existing supplier?”
If the answer is “no” it means that they are most probably interested in considering a new supplier.
Another “negative answer” question could be,
- “Are you getting the kind of results that you expected?”
Then if the customer says “no”, it could mean that the customer is open to considering your product or service as an alternative.
Most importantly, you should always ask close-ended questions in a warm, friendly, curious tone of voice, being courteous, caring and concerned and you should never use any kind of pressure or manipulation.
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This Article is by Peter Collins – In a sales career spanning more than 53 years, Peter Collins has focused on helping and bringing out the best in others – whether it involves training or mentoring salespeople, managers, business consulting to SME’s. Since the 1970’s Peter has built a reputation as a Nationally and Internationally Published author, and has 68 business books to his credit, but he is mainly known for one book based on the Audio Tape series of the same name, Over 50 Ways of Closing the Sale. Peter had his first book published in 1969 and now has over 133 books in all, including Business, Marketing, Sales, Free Publicity, Body Language, Music and over 30 Christian books to date. Peters books have sold over 2.5 Million copies of his books over 49 years. In his personal life, Peter has been sought after as an encourager and motivator that has given of his time and talents freely despite his busy schedule. Subsequently, he has assisted churches, pastors, community and charity groups, as well as individuals through his teaching, training, development and on-going mentoring.
© Copyright Peter Collins, Profit Maker Sales, Sydney, Australia, 1994, 2002, 2007, 2011, 2015, 2017, all rights reserved. Peter can be contacted through his website – profitmakersales.com
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