Sales Beacon | Sell More by Talking Less
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Sell More by Talking Less

The more problems you can find, the bigger your pipeline will be and the more sales you’re going to make.

Selling is not telling; selling is asking questions. Fifty years ago, the biggest sales problem was that sellers didn’t understand their client’s needs. Incredibly, it’s still the biggest problem today! Not listening to the buyer’s goals sellers will cause long sales cycles and lots of price objections.

It sounds so simple – ask questions to discover the needs of the client. So why are so few salespeople doing it?

Here are some of the reasons:

  • They’re given too much product training and aren’t taught the best questions to ask.
  • Sales managers don’t know how to teach it and they don’t drive accountability for it.
  • CEO’s fail to hold their sales managers accountable for this lack of accountability.
  • Sales Enablement pros aren’t trained to teach this either.
  • Channel leaders are more concerned with new products than with teaching skills.


Powerful open ended questions are the only type of questions that get prospects and customers talking about their struggles. 99% of the sales you make solve other people’s problems.

The more problems you can find, the bigger your pipeline will be and the more sales you’re going to make.

Struggling to fill pipeline? What makes a question one that make a prospect think “they understood my needs”? Ones with words that describe the enormity of a problem. Each question you ask of your client needs to include one of these words:

  • Difficulty
  • Headache
  • Issue
  • Struggle
  • Challenge
  • Worry
  • Concern
  • Complaint
  • Problem

These words get to the heart of their company’s needs, what keeps people up at night, what they are trying to solve. Fill those needs and you’ve got yourself a sale.

Use questions to discover value and watch your pipeline grow fast, and you’ll start to sell more. They’re simple, easy to learn and practical. HubSpot recently published a list of great probing questions.

Create a list of questions for your sales team, train them, reinforce them and make them a key part of every sales playbook. Giving sellers a proven structured framework for their discovery meetings will work wonders. They can modify the questions to suit their own personality, values and communication styles. Hold sales managers accountable for driving this behavior.

Sales Beacon has had the privilege of managing team initiatives for some of the world’s largest virtual and remote sales forces. Contact Sales Beacon to find out more about how to improve sales productivity.