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Questions are the answer when selling. If you ask the right questions, your potential clients will sell themselves on your products or services. You will not have to sell at all. How great is that?

So why are questions the answer? Why will questions do the selling for you?

Questions will do the selling for you provided you have the “Question 3-legged stool” in place.

The 3 legs are:

1. You ask the “right” questions
2. You actively listen to the answers (obvious I know, but not always followed)
3. You have the intent to help your potential client get what they want.

Just suppose you ask the right questions but don’t listen to the answers? Do you think your potential client will want to buy from you? Just suppose you’re great at listening and you really want to help your potential client, but you ask the wrong questions. Do you think they will want to buy from you? I hope you get the picture. In order for the questions to do the selling for you, you need all 3 legs of the “Question 3-legged stool” in place. Let’s look more closely at the “right” questions leg.

The “right” questions leg involves several types of questions.

Initially you need to ask questions to uncover whether the potential client has any problems that you can solve. Once you know a potential client has a problem you can solve, it is very tempting to start talking about how you can solve it for them. If you leap in at this point with your solution, chances are they won’t become your client. You now need to ask more questions.

Now you need to ask questions so they will explain to you (and themselves) what the impact would be both personally and professionally if they don’t get their problem solved. Often you will find that your potential client has not really thought through the impact of not solving their problem. They will appreciate that you care enough to ask.

It’s still not time to jump in with your solution and to tell them you have the answer. Resist the temptation. You still need to keep asking questions.

Now you need to ask what difference it would make to them (from both a professional and personal perspective) if they solved this problem. What do they see as the benefits? This is the point at which they will start to sell themselves. They know the impact of not solving the problem, and now they (not you) are telling themselves the benefits of solving it. Your questions have done the selling and they will now be very receptive to hearing how you can help. Now is the time to talk about your solution.

So questions do the selling because they are the vehicle you use to get your potential client to tell themselves all the benefits and results from solving their problem. Via your questions, they tell and sell themselves on why they want the problem solved and what difference it will make.

But remember, this only works if you are really listening to the answers and your intent is to help. Keep remembering and practicing the “Question 3-legged stool” and watch the impact on your sales conversations, your relationships and your results.

(c) 2007, Tessa Stowe, Sales Conversation. WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEBSITE? Yes, you can, provided you make all links live and include this copyright and by-line below.

This Marketing article was written by Tessa Stowe on 7/15/2007

Tessa Stowe teaches small business owners and recovering salespeople 10 simple steps to turn conversations into clients without being sales-y or pushy. Sign-up for her FREE monthly newsletter that is full of tips on how to sell your services by just being yourself at