Jill Konrath


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[Video] Leverage Sales Questions to Demonstrate Expertise


Can you really leverage sales questions to demonstrate your expertise? Absolutely. And, it's one of the best ways I know to show that you're a smart, savvy seller who could bring value to a relationship.

The way you do it is by wrapping the question with your knowledge. For example, I could ask a potential prospect, "What kinds of problems are your salespeople facing today?" It's a nice open-ended question and might get someone talking.

Or, I could say this:

"Based on my work with a number of other business-to-business sales forces, I find that the top three issues they're facing are:

1) Difficulty setting up initial meetings with key decision makers;
2) Getting customers to decide to change from the status quo; and
3) Differentiating themselves from the competition.

Which of these is having the most impact on your sales force?"

See the difference? In the first one, I just asked a decent question. In the second one, I used my knowledge of what other similar customers are facing to set up the question. Plus I asked a more pointed question --- one that will get me better answers. And finally, it showed that I worked a lot with people like him.

You have expertise too. Think about how you can leverage it to ask 3-5 really insightful, provocative sales questions. I promise you it'll have an impact.sales questions

Jill KonrathJill Konrath is an internationally recognized sales strategist. As author of two bestselling books, SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies, she's a frequent speaker at sales meetings and conferences. For more fresh ideas, download her free Prospecting Toolkit.


A simple question can change our lives. That's why we need to learn how to ask the right questions.
Posted @ Monday, January 21, 2013 12:10 PM by Kent
Great point! I've long believed that the questions you ask can be more meaningful and say more about you than what you say about yourself.
Posted @ Tuesday, January 22, 2013 11:42 AM by Larry Melnick
I like the idea of insightful questions that presuppose your knowledge of the situation. I don't like being patronized by being asked which of these 3 things are most important to me. I don't mean to sound harsh, but when I am in a business to business situation and I am the buyer, I don't want to detect being led down a path.  
I don't want to come off as a know it all. This part of what you said, just triggers a wall for me. I am sure that you are very successful. Just my take. Thank you.
Posted @ Tuesday, January 22, 2013 12:32 PM by Howard Koor
Great insight! It also makes it easier for your prospect to share the issues they are facing as they know others are facing similar issues. 
Your approach also helps your follow-up post to this conversation. It opens the way for you to share a good piece of content (an eBook or case study) that relates back to the points you raised and discussed. Again, helping you to continue to add value and have your prospect want to interact with you. 
Posted @ Tuesday, January 22, 2013 1:16 PM by Cliff Pollan
This was the best 2 minute video on sales I've watched so far in 2013! Realy helpful and looking forward to implementing the suggestion on my next opportunity with a prospect.
Posted @ Tuesday, January 22, 2013 5:36 PM by BLS
Howard Korr, the three statements are meant to be insightful and leading to a very simple question, "which of these three is having the most impact to your team?" (paraphrased). Nothing patronizing about it! And meant for us as Sellers so take the buyer hat off and try it!
Posted @ Tuesday, January 22, 2013 5:42 PM by BLS
Love it! Using this expanded form of communication not only better serves you, it also helps the client think a little deeper about their answer!
Posted @ Tuesday, January 22, 2013 6:45 PM by Terri Dunevant
Wow, great point Jill. An extremely simple concept to understand but one that can have a huge impact. Thank you for sharing.
Posted @ Monday, March 11, 2013 1:36 AM by Johnny Bravo
Like this approach but I think it would have the best impact after letting them talk for a bit. Ask an open ended question, hear them out, and use your observations of other businesses like them for gap analysis.
Posted @ Friday, August 30, 2013 7:56 PM by Kasie
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