Is it better to talk or ask your way to the sale?

Is it better to talk or ask your way to the sale?

Written By Jeffrey Gitomer

KING OF SALES, The author of seventeen best-selling books including The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, and The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude. His live coaching program, Sales Mastery, is available at


A sale takes place when a prospect trusts and has confidence in the salesperson, and the prospect perceives a valued difference in the company and the product.

You’ve never said to your spouse “Honey, let’s go out and get sold a car.” No, you say, “Let’s go out and buy a car.”

People don’t like to be sold but they love to buy.

Your challenge is to create an atmosphere where a “buy” can take place. You accomplish this by asking the right questions and let the prospect or customer answer his or her own concerns while you uncover their present situation and real needs.

Power Questions are the difference between earning a sale and fighting for a sale.

What’s a Power Question? Good question.

The definition of a Power Question is…

Ask a question about the prospect, that makes the prospect think
about themselves and answer in terms of you.

The key to developing a Power Question is…

Formulating an open ended, thought provoking question that uncovers how the prospect uses or could use what you sell, reveals their present situation or tells how decisions are made (how they buy).

Major secret of selling: Instead of telling the prospect about your a key benefit, ask a question about it.
When you ask, you get open response answers.
When you tell, you close the prospect off from communicating specific purpose needs Needs that lead to the sale. The result of “telling” is a defensive prospect.

Telling leads to objections. Asking leads to a sale.

Success Strategy: It’s not about what you have to offer, it’s about how the prospect will use what you offer to build his or her business. The only way you can get to these uses is to ask. Questions uncover needs.

When you ask the right question, one that makes the prospect think about their needs and respond in terms of your product or service your prospects will begin to sell themselves. The only thing more powerful than that is if they give you their blank signed check and ask you to fill it out.

Here are a few examples of a Power Question:

  • How do you ensure that you’re taking maximum advantage of (your product or service) to grow your business.
  • What are your plans to increase your profitability through (your product or service) over the next twelve months? (most prospects won’t have a plan)
  • How do your sales people use (your product or service) to gain sales?
  • How much is (your product or service) impacting your growth?
  • How are you (your customers) taking advantage of (your product or service)?
  • Have you identified any other (your product or service) opportunities you want to employ in 1999?
  • If you owned a (your product or service), how would you take advantage of it?

Then get into questions about the criteria by which decisions are made:

  • What made you choose your present supplier?
  • How did you make the decision? Who was involved?
  • How long have you been using the service?
  • How often have they contacted you since you began?
  • How much added value support have they provided you?
  • How would a (make a special offer) impact your decision to give us an opportunity to earn your business?

As a consultant you must be able to ask the question… What opportunities are you missing in (your product or service) to grow your business? and uncover the answers that will lead to a buying decision.

If you believe you can provide the products that will help your prospect profit, produce, and succeed, then the challenge is can you create an atmosphere where trust, confidence, and value are perceived strong enough for the prospect to buy? You can with the right questions. You can’t with the wrong statements. Your choice.


Want more power questions examples? Just go to, register if you’re a first-time user and enter the words POWER QUESTIONS in the GitBit box.