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Understanding and Using Different Types of Questions

It is important to understand the different types of questions and how to best use them. Here are some explanations and examples to help you better understand the differences.

Assumptive Questions: these questions assume that the customer is moving forward with their decision and it’s just a matter of working out details or timing.

“When would you like to close on the deal?”

“How much would you like to offer?”

“When would you like to begin?”

Assumptive Problem Questions: these are questions designed to turn up the client’s pain and help them realize just how much they need you. Because of your research and knowledge of the client’s situation you will know the problems they have or are likely to have. You can then construct your questions to direct their attention to the pain.

People won’t usually make decisions or changes without pain, this is why it’s so important to dig to find the pain, then dial up the pain to help them see the need to move forward and make a decision.

“How will you feel if another buyer gets your home?”

“What are some of the service problems you’ve had in the past with other salespeople?”

“What will happen if you don’t make this decision today?”

Open Ended Questions: these are great for gathering information and sparking deeper conversations. Open-ended questions begin with who, what, where, when, why and how.

“What exactly were you looking to accomplish in this meeting?”

“How will you know when you have found the right home?”

“What are you looking for in a salesperson?”

Alternative Choice Questions: with this question type you’re limiting the client’s answer to one of the two choices you want them to make. It’s a gentle way to move them toward a decision.

“Would you like to close on the home this month or next month?”

“Would you like to make the offer today or tomorrow?”

“Would you like to buy X or would you rather buy X?”

Clarifying Questions: one of the best question types. When a client asks you a question or gives you an objection, a clarifying question is a terrific way to buy you a bit of time to gather your thoughts and to dig in and make sure that you truly understand what exactly they’re asking.

“Why is that important?”

“What would that do for you?”

“I’m curious, why do you ask?”

When you become a master of asking great questions you will be amazed at just how much people are willing to tell you.

Of course the magic will only happen when they sense that you have sincere and genuine interest in them and in what they are saying! You will have to work hard to improve your skill of asking great questions, and it will be an ongoing area for improvement throughout your career. Educate yourself on the subject and practice by writing out questions that you can ask for all of the customer scenarios and situations you encounter.

Be an active listener. Now that you’ll be asking all of these terrific questions you’ll want to truly listen to the answers. Listen with the intention of gaining understanding and insight into their emotions and into their thinking.   Being a good listener requires hard work and patience. You have to slow down, calm down, and stop thinking about the commission. Just be in the moment with them, be completely focused on them, and show them that you care.

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