in 111 Books in 2011

#28/111: Questions That Sell

What is it about?

Selling more expensive products is more than just selling cookie cutter solutions. Paul Cherry helps you to find out what your customer wants and what he really wants.

Key points?

Let the customer do the talking: Often salespeople try not to lose control and decide to do the talking. That is a bad habit and happens often. Instead ask good(!) question and let your customer do the talking. You will learn much more about her and her company.

Ask good questions: A key feature of good questions is that it encourages people to think. For example: bad – “How old is your company?”, good – “How did your company change in the last 10 years?”

Help to quantify the problems: After you gathered information about their company and their problems ask them questions about the impact of these problems. “What does it mean for your company that your vendor supplies you two months too late?”,  “How much money are you losing on this per year?”, etc. Don’t try to sell your product at this point.

What do they really want?: Often there’s is more than just the product, there are personal implications. What does it mean to your customer when he can’t reduce the costs? What would happen if he could change the company to the better? Often people want more appreciation, security or success. Try to identify these key attributes and help your customer reach his goals.

Not everybody will buy from you: It’s simple. If a prospect don’t want to hear about your product or don’t have to power to make a decision, don’t bother her. Just leave and talk to another person in the company or go to the next prospect.


Questions That Sell contains a lot of exercises and two long case studies which makes it a great workbook. I like the clear and non BS approach which helps you to deepen the learning material. If you need selling at some point this book will improve your ability.

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