Top 30 Open-ended Questions

Posted in Sales Tools  |  104 Comments

Open-ended questions are one of the most important tools for those who sell (as long as you listen).

They help you gather information, qualify sales opportunities, and establish rapport, trust and credibility.

If you consider yourself a professional, own (absolutely know) a repertoire of powerful open-ended questions … questions that are answered by more than a simple yes or no … questions where the prospect / customer gets directly involved in the sales discussion.

The key here…

Ask the question and let the prospect/ customer give you their answer.

No leading.
No prompting.
No interrupting.

Just in case you’ve not had the opportunity to put yours down in writing, here are some of our favorites. You should have several additional questions specific to your industry, but these’ll get you more than started.

Write down the ones you find valuable. Memorize them with your team. Practice them on your drive in or on the way to your next appointment. Print them out. Post them near your phone. Pass them on to your team.

It’s all about sales®.

If you like these questions, you might also like the author’s message on commitment called Cross The Line. Use this link to watch the quick little video.

____________________

Top 30 Open-ended Questions

(questions to gather information, qualify sales opportunities, and establish rapport, trust and credibility)

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COMMENTS


  1. Joshua says:

    Good web-site you possess right here.

    20 October 2014



  2. Audrey says:

    This blog was… how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I have found something which helped me.
    Cheers!

    18 June 2014



  3. ogunyodesam@gmail.com says:

    I think this web can help me a lots. because I need to improve on my sales career and to know what I need to know, thanks guys.

    3 March 2014



  4. Coy says:

    Simply just desired to stress Now i am glad I happened on
    the page.

    28 February 2014



  5. The Secret to Building a Strong Rapport With Prospects, Instantly | BizActions says:

    [...] up) to you. Your goal is to have a dialogue, not conduct an interrogation. Open-ended questions are one of the most valuable methods to establish two-way communication and put your prospects at ease. Journalists are adept at [...]

    20 February 2014



  6. Bono on Pushing It - Just Sell®... it's all about sales® says:

    [...] Top 30 Open-ended Questions [...]

    10 January 2014



  7. The Lion on Thunda - Just Sell®... it's all about sales® says:

    [...] Top 30 Open-ended Questions [...]

    25 November 2013



  8. tony_hopkins@yamil.com says:

    Thank You

    18 September 2013



  9. Shazia Soofi says:

    These are excellent, thanks!

    27 August 2013



  10. RJ Forrest says:

    Looking for good paired questions

    20 August 2013





  11. Questions that Build Rapport with Your Prospect… Quickly! | Sales Speaker | Julie Hansen says:

    [...] Questions that start with words such as who, where, what, when, how, and why require the prospect to respond with more than a simple “yes or no” and provide you with more helpful information.  It takes some planning to come up with these types of questions (as well as the Hyopthetical questions below) so set aside some time to do that.  It will more than pay off.  For  a link to the Top 30 Open-ended Sales Questions, click here. [...]

    4 March 2013



  12. ken@callpotential.com says:

    These are helpful; especially to early career stage sales folks learning the art of a good diagnosis. I am so sick and tired of hearing sales trainers talking about finding a pain point when you are in an introductory dialouge.
    Thats like me walking up to you on the street and saying:

    Hi XXXX, I was wondering if you are having a problem with your weight. I have the solution!”

    People would much rather talk about those things in terms of a GOAL vs. a problem:

    ” Hi XXX. a lot of folks these days are trying to hit better levels of health. a lot of them are 35 year old men like yourself. Have you thought about or been open to the idea of trying out a few approaches?

    In selling to executive at a big company, or even a tiny company’s president, if you want to breakthe ice and get a good discussion rolling when you first shake hands or he says hello on the phone is, in a really casual way:

    “Hi, Joe, how’s business so far this ________month, quarter”
    It beats the snot out of “how bout this rain we’re having”…………..eeewwww.

    The other question is:

    So joe, when your (boss, shareholder) is evaluating your performance to find out how business is running each month; what are the measurements they are using. And maybe better yet, where do you want them to be?

    1 March 2013



  13. Stunning Colleagues - Just Sell®... it's all about sales® says:

    [...] Top 30 open-ended questions | Listening and the Gap of Silence Sales Management Checklist [...]

    19 February 2013



  14. Nobody Likes You: 10 Ways You Can Be a Better Boss - Engaged Leadership - A Leadership Coach Breaks Down 10 Ideas for Management | Engaged Leadership says:

    [...] may clam up.  Even though you are in authority, it doesn’t mean you need to act like it.  Ask open ended questions like, ‘What should we do about your lateness issues?’ Asking equalizes the playing field [...]

    27 December 2012



  15. Stan says:

    If you head on in excess of to Alexa, their Alexa rank is all around 1200 as of this short article.
    Just search our webpage and our product or service and low selling price
    will absolutely surprise you. http://healthyman.
    me/node/96220

    19 November 2012



  16. John Marquez says:

    Trying to read your Top 30 Open-Ended Questions and the same page that says to read the whole article to sign in. Signing in and the same page, no article.

    2 November 2012



  17. Sales Training: Negotiating - ASPE - ROI says:

    [...] open-ended questions to confirm your understanding of their [...]

    15 June 2012



  18. Mehr says:

    wow !!
    u done brilliant job !!!

    11 May 2012



  19. rosalie says:

    it is a great job. who did this website. :)

    17 April 2012



  20. Free Friday – Ask Great Questions | STREXER | Marketing Consultants says:

    [...] I stumbled on to a great sales site called “JustSell” (thanks StumbleUpon!) and thought I would share one of their most popular posts with you - 30 Open-Ended Questions [...]

    14 March 2012



  21. tabulyogang says:

    I think it helps a lot also if you can see/read the customer’s reaction to your question so you can come up with much better questions. Thank you for the sample questions!

    8 March 2012



  22. Sales questions | Lolturtle says:

    [...] Top 30 Open-ended Questions – Just Sell®… it’s all about sales®Open-ended questions are one of the most important tools for those who sell (as long as you listen). The key here… Ask the question and let the prospect/ … [...]

    5 March 2012



  23. nithya says:

    how to arise a question using the word “may not”?give some example questions.

    25 January 2012



  24. Anthony says:

    Just found this site and I like it. It is what I need right now. Thanks.

    9 January 2012



  25. Fred Cunniff says:

    Example of dumb opened end question,might be?
    Your going into refrigerator to retrieve peanut butter
    and jelly,and someone observes you and says
    “ARE YOU HUNGRY?” You answer no,im going to
    smear this all over the wall or my body.”
    DUH,WHAT ELSE WOULD YOU BEING DOING WITH THESE
    FOOD GROUPS?

    22 December 2011



  26. rose says:

    Every single time I discover a superb blog post I do a few things: 1.Share it with all my colleagues and followers on Twitter. 2.save it in all of the most loved social sharing online sites. 3. Make sure to return to the blog where I read the post. After reading this post I am seriously considering doing all 3! – ASAP skin care ;)

    12 December 2011



  27. Ray Behan says:

    I like the open questions but i would like to add in a segment. How to turn the response into a trial close and then a close. “is that important to you Brown”
    “great, so as long as it fits the budget you’d at least seriously consider it wouldn’t you”
    See me on you tube soon. Ray Sales.

    7 December 2011



  28. Ray Behan says:

    I like the open questions but i would like to add in a segment. How to turn the response into a trial close and then a close. See me on you tube soon. Ray Sales.

    7 December 2011



  29. Question-making practice through sales role-play | Teacher Training Blog says:

    [...] But the main reason I like it is because my students like it . I hope yours like it too. You can find question models here: http://www.justsell.com/top-30-open-ended-questions/ [...]

    2 December 2011



  30. Wayne Highlander says:

    Don’t touch the coffee! Coffee is for closers!

    2 November 2011



  31. Joshua Quigley says:

    These are some really great questions. Thank you so much for taking the time to share them with us. Thanks – Josh Quigley

    31 October 2011



  32. anne says:

    I used these questions as a guide for planning a negotiation. very helpful. Thanks.

    21 October 2011



  33. RAJENDRA says:

    Great question atleast half of my problem will solve by using this thanks a lot

    13 October 2011



  34. Priyanka munjal says:

    thanks very useful information..it saved me :)

    20 July 2011



  35. 30 questions to keep them talking « Sell More. Sell Faster. Sell Wiser says:

    [...] Top 30 Open-ended Questions – Just Sell®… it’s all about sales®. [...]

    1 July 2011



  36. 30 questions to keep them talking « Sell More Life Insurance. says:

    [...] Top 30 Open-ended Questions – Just Sell®… it’s all about sales®. [...]

    29 June 2011



  37. Ishwor says:

    awesome information..very good site…

    23 June 2011



  38. Nicole says:

    Thank you so much it saved my soo much time
    I dont know what i would of done

    Thnxs

    17 June 2011



  39. kingsley says:

    thank god am on this site

    7 May 2011



  40. Wim @ Sales Sells says:

    Amazing resource Sam, thanks!

    26 April 2011



  41. sam says:

    Thanks, Lyndsay! Very frustrating when people do that.

    19 April 2011



  42. Lyndsay says:

    Sam – If you wrote this, I would check out this link:

    http://www.salesxcellence.co.uk/SalesSkillsArticles/Open_Questions/open_questions.html

    The copy and content is nearly word for word the same as this. Just thought you should know…

    19 April 2011



  43. Dianna says:

    Excellent information. Also remember when dealing with prospects and customers…use the Platinum Rule- treat them the way THEY want to be treated, not the way YOU want to be treated.

    17 April 2011



  44. Bakery says:

    They help you gather information, qualify sales opportunities, and establish rapport, trust and credibility.

    Bakery

    9 April 2011



  45. lawyer says:

    This is a fantastic posting and It serves to be a Top Performer and soon I’ll be managing my very own sales channel in a best and in a good manner…. Thanks for giving such a good site..

    lawyer

    7 April 2011



  46. d says:

    This was extreamly helpful- dont be suprised if i call you up one day using your lines to get you to buy a magazine subscription or time share!

    all jokes aside- this is awesome- I am using it on my script.

    6 April 2011



  47. sam says:

    Thanks for the kind words, Everyone.

    30 March 2011



  48. Gloria says:

    I look forward to your emails every morning. A great way to start the work day. Your site has helped me so much. Thanks!!

    30 March 2011



  49. Wonderful Effects With The Finest Research Software says:

    [...] questions that examine points vital to almost all businesses. Surveys may use multiple choice or open ended questions, though multiple alternative questions are a lot simpler to translate and to put into graphs and [...]

    27 March 2011



  50. jenniferannedeaves says:

    [...] that investigate points essential to all businesses. Surveys could work with multiple selection or open ended questions, though a number of selection questions are a lot simpler to interpret and to put into graphs and [...]

    16 March 2011



  51. Carol says:

    i love pie omg

    10 February 2011



  52. Shahid says:

    It is really wonderfull

    8 February 2011



  53. Askir says:

    Self motivation, determination and wanting to be the best in your company will also boost your selling ability. Try keep that as a mind set aswell as all the other great info and help on this site.

    3 February 2011



  54. Cierra G says:

    I just started in sales about a month ago, my dad told me about this site. What a wonderful place to start :) I can’t believe how much great information is on this site!!! Thank you soooo much!! Almost immediately I feel more confident in myself and my job, and that’s they key to this industry I hear.
    Thanks JustSell.com!

    21 January 2011



  55. Esther says:

    Very good information.

    12 January 2011



  56. Aurelius on Getting Wasted | Mapsys.info says:

    [...] only on the discussion and them. Be real. Ask questions and listen (top 30 open-ended questions [...]

    5 January 2011



  57. Heather James says:

    Great site and info thank you very helpful I love receiving your emails
    Heather

    5 January 2011



  58. Joseph on Better Listening | Mapsys.info says:

    [...] some more insight and a list of the top 30 open-ended questions from JustSell. Then, put together a small group and practice delivering the questions to one [...]

    22 December 2010



  59. Dave says:

    Everyone loves to BUY. Everyone hates to be SOLD. Sales is about giving (value), not about receiving (an order). I’ve read most of the sales “systems” out there and none seem to resonate with the businesses I’ve run. Here are the simple steps I feel separate the true sale professionals:

    1.) Define Your Commitment Objective. (Pre-Call Planning Skills)
    What commitment are you planning to gain? And what are you prepared to commit to?

    2.) Establish Your Relationship (Rapport Building Skills)
    Be professional, friendly, organized, knowledgeable, time aware. This creates affection and trust, key buying ingredients.

    3.) Interview the Customer (Questioning and Listening Skills)
    Treat it like an interview. Explore for time wasters and inconveniences. Customers want to save time and make their lives easier. Neither of these has anything to do with a lower price, by the way.

    4.) Reinforce the Customer’s Situation (Confirm Your Hearing and Empathy)
    Express the identified situational issues in priority order, and express them as resolvable problems/needs that your product can satisfy.

    5.) Identify Solutions (Knowledge and Shared Experience)
    Reinforce your company as you share testimonial experiences of other customers

    6.) Exchange Commitments
    “If you will commit to … today, then I will commit to …” Commit from yourself something of value to them and of cost to you (Never price!)

    7.) Follow-Up
    Do what you said you would do. Learn from your mistakes.

    16 December 2010



  60. Sarah L says:

    Awesome, very informative website!
    Thanks a million to you Sam and more power to you.
    Keep up your great work of sharing unselfishly your knowledge to everyone….

    18 October 2010



  61. R C says:

    I recently aquired my Real Estate license in Texas. What open-ended questions should I use for the Real Estate insdustry?

    23 September 2010



  62. Ken Harper says:

    My favorite question is a follow up question when someone says, “I don’t know”. You just ask, “Well what would your answer be if you did know?” Prospects or customers usually give you an answer then or find it humorous and you have broken the ice with them for better rapport!

    Ken

    25 August 2010



  63. Rich says:

    My favorite open ended question- “Can YOU help ME understand (anything about their business) better?” Even the toughest or meanest people in the world love to help others and show off their knowledge. Try it sometime and then listen.

    25 August 2010



  64. Carol says:

    I also recommend to sales reps I work with to “keep em talking”. The best sale out there is the one where the person, my self included, sells themselves!! Your open ended lead in questions are great; we can keep the customer talking by asking open ended “lead on” questions. Short little 2 word sentences such as “how so?” “Why’s that.” Because…….??. Oftentimes, you don’t have to say a word; just look a bit confused and the customer will try to help you understand his needs better!! Who was it that said…. “We have 2 ears and 1 mouth for a reason”!!!!!!!

    20 July 2010



  65. NhanhNhat.vn says:

    Awesome, thanks!

    20 June 2010



  66. Bhaskaran says:

    Good Questions!

    Thank you

    2 June 2010



  67. Michael G says:

    To RR

    What’s the most important priority to you with this? Why? is two questions on one line making 30

    24 May 2010



  68. Eric Pinola says:

    Super Job!

    7 May 2010



  69. RR says:

    I count 29.

    5 May 2010



  70. Saloni says:

    Informative..:)

    15 April 2010



  71. Clarence Coggins Crown Prince of Web 2.0 says:

    I felt that this was an excellent piece of information. One of the biggest problems that I realized I had was not knowing the right questions to ask. This really was helpful in getting the mind working

    8 April 2010



  72. ARJUN says:

    GO TROUGH A QUESTION EACH DAY, USE IT ,
    IT HELPS

    31 March 2010



  73. Sales Exits – Just Sell®… it’s all about sales® « The Blog of Gobi Canada says:

    [...] is engaged and you’ve begun your discussion. After your prospect responds to several of your open-ended questions, you begin to discover the prospect may not be a prospect at all (at least not for the next quarter [...]

    9 March 2010



  74. Eleanor says:

    Love the website.

    I also just wanted to add that I think THE most important part of selling is ‘personalised’. So instead of a script saying “I can see where your product sales would greatly benefit from advertising with us…” instead “I can see where m’n'm sales would greatly benefit..etc…” people’s ears prick up when they hear something familiar and not the same old scripts.

    thanks.

    4 March 2010



  75. Joh says:

    Fantastic helpful hints. It would be great to see some NLP examples of selling.

    22 February 2010



  76. marife says:

    Thanks a lot, it helps me so much.

    2 February 2010



  77. James Muniz says:

    Study well and remember that you only have 1 opportunity to captivate the clients buying attention. Do your best and use justsell. You can and will become the top performer. Everyone wants to be “Diamond Level”…
    Sales is the commitment to your clients, take care of them or someone else will. Justsell has taught me much, now go out & A.B.C.!

    20 January 2010



  78. Robert Rose says:

    How does sales person learn not to create objections?

    8 December 2009



  79. Getting Your Prospects to Talk | The CRAP Report says:

    [...] questions is the difference between a fully qualified sales opportunity and an opportunity lost.  Here is a list of 30 good open-ended questions from Just Sell that your BDR’s should be using [...]

    1 December 2009



  80. eds says:

    thanks…this can help me to having an enterview…for our project…….

    19 November 2009



  81. Gavin says:

    Yeah , Good site. Regularly drop by to check it out.
    As a Sales Manager – I live by the 212degrees video.
    Keep up the good work.

    18 November 2009



  82. Steve-WSI Global Web Strategies says:

    Really great stuff. I always find diamonds on this website.

    15 November 2009



  83. Eldon says:

    This was very helpful to me and I thank you for taking the time to post

    this.

    15 November 2009



  84. Michelle says:

    I’ve just startred a new company and currently I AM the sales force…This appears to be a very useful site. I’ll frequent it!

    12 November 2009



  85. Sunil Sharma says:

    Thanks for this great site. There is a lot of ideas for improve your sales.you can do better something by reading these tips.

    10 November 2009



  86. Dave Hill says:

    Sales resistance is the natural result of homeostasis. People are designed to maintain equalibrium. And unless a person is experiencing much pain or desire in their current state they will not automatically buy because a sales person walks in the door. What’s really funny is that people don’t even know why they exhibit sales resistance. The professional understands and expects sales resistance. That’s why this a great site – learn your trade and you’ll never have to learn the “tricks” of your trade.

    29 September 2009



  87. Rino says:

    I ave used this website for for a very long time, it is my default site and use it daily. It is informative, thought provoking with lots of good sales stuff.

    16 September 2009



  88. Boris Longfellow says:

    This is a fantastic website! It serves as a reinforcement for me, being a Top Performer and soon I’ll be managing my very own sales channel. Keep up the good work! spread the word! What works for you might work others like me, earning residual income. Cheers!

    25 August 2009



  89. paul neville says:

    This is a fantastic site. Before every sales day i always refer to it to help keep myself focused for day ahead.

    Thanks.

    20 August 2009



  90. Jeff says:

    Great way to equip oneself and one’s team to go into the sales battle and come out victorious! Keep up the great work!

    10 August 2009



  91. Ken Horsley says:

    One of the MOST informative sites online for us SALES WARRIORS!!!

    GO JUSTSELL.COM

    7 August 2009



  92. Filipe says:

    Nice site and tips, but I could live without the false testemonies.

    6 August 2009



  93. stephanie says:

    Ive been in advertising for a while and when I was recruited by one of South Africas biggest advertising mediums I knew that I would really need to step up to the plate.
    Luckily I told my manager about Justsell.com and aleady she was impressed when she saw all the info available…

    6 August 2009



  94. Timothy C. Kain says:

    This site is GREAT! All these little gems that are given so freely and with the sincere desire to help the salesperson succeed. I love it! Keep up the good work!

    Close and Prosper.

    6 August 2009



  95. Roman Marta says:

    Back in 2002 I stumbled upon justsale.com and till this day visit the site frequently. My tool bag is full thanks in part to the vital info. provided by justsell.com. I have fullfilled my commitment to just simply sell. Gracias justsell.com.

    Roman Marta

    17 July 2009



  96. Feroz says:

    I’ve improved as sales person over a period of time from the momnet I logged in to this site.

    I’ve seen great results using the tips published here!

    17 July 2009



  97. Wyteria Jacobo says:

    I am so glad I found this site again. This time, I’m printing out the list. Even experienced sales professionals need reminders.

    Thanks!

    16 July 2009



  98. Stacy says:

    Great questions!! I will be sure to use this list soon

    14 July 2009



  99. Gary says:

    Staying on script is the hardest part of the presentation. To often I want to jump to all of the wonderful things I know about my products(lubricants) and company before I even know how I can help the prospect. Can anyone else feel when you have lost them?
    This is a great reminder of those things which we need to know before we can help the prospect, and realize that it may be one than a one call stop. Most likely will not be a more than one stop call if we do not offer solutions to the prospect.

    9 July 2009



  100. Sam Parker says:

    Thanks Jennifer & Phils! Be SalesTough.

    3 July 2009



  101. phil says:

    this really hits the issues hard great site!!!

    2 July 2009



  102. Phil says:

    I have been reading your website columns for a good while and this post, like all of the others, hits the nail-on-the-head with clear concise and very usable selling skills.

    Too often we as salesman want to extol the benefits of our products, company, etc. and fail to question and/or listen to the customer and what their needs maybe.

    As has been said before – God gave us two ears and only one mouth which should give a clue as to what we should be doing more of.

    Keep up the great work!

    1 July 2009



  103. Jennifer says:

    Great looking website with good, useable tid bits.

    Thank you.

    29 June 2009


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