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Influencers Invited Sales Blog

Are You Using Questions Designed To Fail?

As a high performing sales professional or business owner, you understand that the most effective tool we have for understanding our clients wants and needs is our questions. They are also a great tool to help guide the focus of the conversation and the sales process.

The way that you structure your question creates a higher probability towards one answer over another. I have been in meetings with fellow colleagues who did not understand this, they would ask questions like ‘Have you been having any problems or issues?’ or ‘Has anything not got according to plan on the deployment?’

In a study with two groups of Canadians, one group was asked ‘Are you unhappy with your social life?’ The other group was asked ‘Are you happy with your social life?’ Those who were asked if they were unhappy with their social life were 375% more likely to declare themselves unhappy.

Instead of asking your client what problems or issues they may be having with the proposal, the presentation, the communication throughout the sales process, or any part of the deployment. You should be asking questions around what is going well, what has been the most valuable component, what are you happiest about. For example, ‘Has everything been going smoothly and according to plan with the deployment?’ ‘Are you happy with the results you are getting?’ That way you will understand the strengths of your company and where you can offer the most value at a higher level. You will magnify your strengths and have a much higher probability of a very positive, win win situation and conversation.

If you are going to talk about problems, you may as well bring up what problems they have had in the past so that you can make sure to avoid those issues. If you ask a question focused on problems, you will hear about issues, so make sure it is about past issues with a different provider.

About the author

Rick Middlemass has almost a decade of experience in Entrepreneurship, Business Development & Sales.

Rick began his sales and entrepreneurial career at 18 opening up a new territory for Student Painters creating over 100K in new business over the next 3 years. Rick also worked in various sales & marketing roles & internships throughout his time at Michigan State University.

In his first role out of school Rick joined NuWave Technology, a Cisco Systems Premier Partner in Michigan, and quickly worked his way up to be:

2014 Sales Person of the Year
2015 Sales Person of the Year
16 Time Sales Person of the Month

Rick Middlemass now works with the National Association of Sales Professionals helping salespeople and sales leaders reach their true potential and continue to grow through our behavioral conditioning programs.