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      6 Mins

      121 Open Questions Sales Reps Forget To Ask

      121 Open Questions Sales Reps Forget To Ask Featured Image
      Published on Jan 6, 2021 by Jon Payne

      Selling isn't telling - it's asking questions! If you're new to sales or if you manage a team of experienced sales pros, you'll find this list of open questions helpful to improve the quality of the conversations with your prospects.

      Most of these open questions can be used at any point in your sales process but for ease of use here, they are divided into these sections:

      14 Basic open questions to start your sales process

      1. How can I help you?
      2. What is your name?
      3. How do you spell that?
      4. What is the name of your company?
      5. What is the best number to call you back on, in case we get cut off?
      6. What is you job title?
      7. What does your job involve?
      8. Where are you located?
      9. How many people work at <company>?
      10. How many people work in your team?
      11. What is the turnover of your business?
      12. How many offices / locations do you have?
      13. How would you explain what your job to someone at a party?
      14. How would you explain what <company does> to someone at a party?

      19 Open questions for building rapport and trust

      1. How are you?
      2. How is business for you?
      3. How did you get involved in this?
      4. What kind of challenges are you facing?
      5. What’s your problem with doing it like that?
      6. What’s your most important priority?
      7. Why is that your most important priority?
      8. What other issues are important to you?
      9. What would you like to see improved?
      10. How do you measure the improvement?
      11. Who else is involved?
      12. What is their angle?
      13. What prompted you to talk to us not somebody else?
      14. How many other providers are you considering?
      15. When do you need to get started?
      16. When do you need to see results?
      17. How will you measure success?
      18. Why don’t you just continue with your current solution?
      19. Who is judging your performance on this project?

      61 Open questions for qualifying sales prospects

      1. What prompted you to call today?
      2. Why are you investigating solutions like this?
      3. How did you land on this product / service as a solution?
      4. What are your key requirements for this product / service?
      5. What does success look like to you when you find the right product / service?
      6. What do you expect to happen next?
      7. What stands in the way of that?
      8. What do you want to accomplish?
      9. How do you see this getting started?
      10. When do you need to start?
      11. Who do you like doing business with?
      12. Who don’t you like doing business with?
      13. What do you mean by ...?
      14. How does that process work now?
      15. Why?
      16. What difficulties does that process create?
      17. Why is that?
      18. What challenges has that created in the past?
      19. What are the best things about that process?
      20. What else should I know about this?
      21. What questions should I have asked on this call?
      22. Where do we need to deliver this product / service?
      23. Who would be impacted by the roll out?
      24. What is the overall strategy for the business?
      25. What are the business growth goals?
      26. How big is your team?
      27. What is your timeline?
      28. What results do you see now?
      29. How do you measure what works?
      30. How do you measure what doesn’t work?
      31. What are your goals for the end of the project?
      32. How could you express each of those as a SMART goal?
      33. When do you need to start to see results?
      34. Why don’t you just stick with what you’re already doing/using?
      35. What would the impact be on you personally?
      36. What would the impact be on the business?
      37. When what you are currently doing doesn't work, what is the practical impact?
      38. When what you are currently doing doesn't work, what is the financial impact?
      39. How would you prefer to move forward?
      40. What do the next steps look like for you?
      41. Who needs to be involved in the next steps?
      42. Who else is involved in choosing a supplier?
      43. Who else is involved in choosing a solution?
      44. How do we get on your preferred supplier list?
      45. What's the process to purchase this type of product / service from a new supplier?
      46. What budget do you have?
      47. What budgets do you control?
      48. Who else in the organisation could benefit from this?
      49. How much would they benefit?
      50. How much could they invest?
      51. What do you think?
      52. What else is on your plate?
      53. Which of those other things could become the main priority?
      54. How likely is that to happen?
      55. What other initiatives is the business planning?
      56. Which of those initiatives could take precedence over this one?
      57. What’s your biggest worry about this?
      58. What other concerns do you have?
      59. What other projects are dependent on this?
      60. Who is the executive sponsor for this project?
      61. Who else would want to know that we had this conversation?

      11 Open sales questions that identify your prospects' pain

      1. What's your plan to tackle <problem>?
      2. When is your deadline to solve <problem>?
      3. How hard, or easy do you think it will be to solve it?
      4. When does this need to be done?
      5. Why that timeline?
      6. Who in your business is working to fix this?
      7. Why can't you keep doing what you're doing?
      8. What really pisses you off?
      9. What does your boss never shut up about?
      10. What takes up the most time when you're doing your day to day job?
      11. What's always on the agenda at company meetings?

      7 Open questions to help you close the sale

      1. In five years we meet for a coffee - you tell me this has been a tremendous success…. What’s changed?
      2. In five years we meet for a coffee - you tell me this has been a tremendous success…. How do others perceive you?
      3. In five years we meet for a coffee - you tell me this has been a tremendous success…. How do you feel?
      4. In five years we meet for a coffee - you tell me this has been a tremendous success… What are you doing?
      5. When can you sign the contract?
      6. Who else needs a copy of the contract?
      7. How would you like to pay?

      9 Open questions for objection handling

      1. What's changed since we last talked?
      2. "It's too expensive"... Why do you say that?
      3. "It's not the right time"... what makes you say that?
      4. If you need to spend less, I can remove X, Y and Z. How does that sound?
      5. The price is fixed, but what about if I could be more flexible on payment terms?
      6. What needs to change for us to move forward together?
      7. I'd like to explore some ways in which I can make this work for you - what time can we have a chat tomorrow?
      8. If I can fix <objection>, what else needs to change to make this work for you?
      9. Who else do we need to get on board, so that we can move forward today?

      What should you do before you start asking questions? Find out in this article about how to handle inbound sales calls.

      Jon Payne

      Founder and Technical Director of Noisy Little Monkey, Jon blogs about SEO and digital marketing strategy.

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