Have you ever left a sales call and wished that your dream client had asked you a certain question? Is there some question that, if asked, would allow you to really move your client?

Sometimes sales calls go down a certain path because your client is steering the call. They’re asking questions of you, and you’re answering their questions. Even if you do a wonderful job answering their questions, the questions can take you in the wrong direction. They can get you mired down in selling product. They can force you to respond as if you were a commodity. And they can generally reduce the value that you might have created.

If your dream client doesn’t ask the questions of you that you believe should be asked, then you ask those questions yourself.

We Don’t Know What We Don’t Know

We don’t know what we don’t know. We have limited knowledge, and it’s easy for that knowledge to get in the way of producing better results.

Your dream clients know a lot about what you sell. They have purchased what you sell before, and they have some ideas. But what they know, what they believe, and their ideas can prevent them from exploring new beliefs, new ideas, and new opportunities.

You know what I am talking about here because you get the same questions from your prospects over and over again, don’t you?

If the line of questions your dream client pursues doesn’t get you where you need to go, ask the questions that will get you there.

Ask the Question of Yourself

Have you ever had a client ask you a final question at the end of your sales call that sounded like this: “That’s all the questions we have. What should we have asked you?” Maybe you’ve been smart enough to ask this question at the end of a sales call yourself. The question opens up the possibility for you to increase the value that you create on the call and to learn enough to create more value in the future.

If the questions you want aren’t asked, ask them yourself.

You can say something like, “I am happy to have had a chance to answer your questions. Can I share with you a few other questions we were hoping you’d ask?” Or you might try something like this, “Before we wrap up here, can I share with you some questions that we’re continually asked by our clients?”

Better Questions, Better Results

Much of the time, the right question is better than the right answer.

Asking the right question of your clients can help you change their mind about what they believe they want. They can help you differentiate yourself and your offering. They can help you get in front of the pricing conversation.

Asking the right question of yourself can allow you to change your clients mind about what’s important, why it’s important, and what you can do to help them with the big issues they may not yet know they need help with.

You might say, “We are continually asked about why our approach is different than the industry standard. It’s a good question. We’ve found that by taking this approach, we can better help our clients . . .” Now you have shifted the discussion to what makes you different and how it makes a difference.

Or, try this one, “We are often asked why our prices are 5% to 10% higher than our competitors. The answer is because by helping our clients make the right investment in the solutions we propose, we produce far greater results and a much higher return on investment. Here is exactly how that works . . .” Now you have moved the conversation from price to cost, and you have also likely driven a wedge between your client and competitor by shifting the criteria to return on investment.

If you aren’t asked the questions that you need your dream client to ask you, then you have to ask the question yourself. They don’t know what they don’t know, and they won’t know it if you don’t help them by asking the question.


What are the five most important questions your dream client can ask you? Make a list.

Why are these questions so important? What does it allow you to change in the way of their beliefs, their perceived needs, or their plan to evaluate you and your competition?

What questions allow you to move the conversation to the areas where you can create greatest value for your dream clients?

Sales, 2012
Anthony Iannarino
Post by Anthony Iannarino
September 6, 2012
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