Top 30 Open-ended Questions

Posted in Sales Tools  |  103 Comments

Open-ended questions are incredibly valuable to the sales process (as long as you listen).

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

As a sales professional, it’s very important to have 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.

In case you’ve not had the opportunity to write down your open-ended favorites, here are 30 of ours. 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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  1. Audrey says:

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

    18 June 2014

  2. 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

  3. Coy says:

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

    28 February 2014

  4. 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

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

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

    10 January 2014

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

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

    25 November 2013

  7. says:

    Thank You

    18 September 2013

  8. Shazia Soofi says:

    These are excellent, thanks!

    27 August 2013

  9. RJ Forrest says:

    Looking for good paired questions

    20 August 2013

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

    19 November 2012

  15. 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

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

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

    15 June 2012

  17. Mehr says:

    wow !!
    u done brilliant job !!!

    11 May 2012

  18. rosalie says:

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

    17 April 2012

  19. 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

  20. 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

  21. 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

  22. nithya says:

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

    25 January 2012

  23. Anthony says:

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

    9 January 2012

  24. 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.”

    22 December 2011

  25. 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. 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

  26. 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

  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. See me on you tube soon. Ray Sales.

    7 December 2011

  28. 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: […]

    2 December 2011

  29. Wayne Highlander says:

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

    2 November 2011

  30. 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

  31. anne says:

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

    21 October 2011

  32. RAJENDRA says:

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

    13 October 2011

  33. Priyanka munjal says:

    thanks very useful saved me :)

    20 July 2011

  34. 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

  35. 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

  36. Ishwor says:

    awesome information..very good site…

    23 June 2011

  37. Nicole says:

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


    17 June 2011

  38. kingsley says:

    thank god am on this site

    7 May 2011

  39. Wim @ Sales Sells says:

    Amazing resource Sam, thanks!

    26 April 2011

  40. sam says:

    Thanks, Lyndsay! Very frustrating when people do that.

    19 April 2011

  41. Lyndsay says:

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

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

    19 April 2011

  42. 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

  43. Bakery says:

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


    9 April 2011

  44. 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..


    7 April 2011

  45. 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

  46. sam says:

    Thanks for the kind words, Everyone.

    30 March 2011

  47. 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

  48. 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

  49. 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

  50. Carol says:

    i love pie omg

    10 February 2011

  51. Shahid says:

    It is really wonderfull

    8 February 2011

  52. 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

  53. 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.

    21 January 2011

  54. Esther says:

    Very good information.

    12 January 2011

  55. Aurelius on Getting Wasted | says:

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

    5 January 2011

  56. Heather James says:

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

    5 January 2011

  57. Joseph on Better Listening | 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

  58. 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

  59. 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

  60. 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

  61. 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!


    25 August 2010

  62. 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

  63. 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

  64. says:

    Awesome, thanks!

    20 June 2010

  65. Bhaskaran says:

    Good Questions!

    Thank you

    2 June 2010

  66. 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

  67. Eric Pinola says:

    Super Job!

    7 May 2010

  68. RR says:

    I count 29.

    5 May 2010

  69. Saloni says:


    15 April 2010

  70. 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

  71. ARJUN says:


    31 March 2010

  72. 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

  73. 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.


    4 March 2010

  74. Joh says:

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

    22 February 2010

  75. marife says:

    Thanks a lot, it helps me so much.

    2 February 2010

  76. 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

  77. Robert Rose says:

    How does sales person learn not to create objections?

    8 December 2009

  78. 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

  79. eds says:

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

    19 November 2009

  80. 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

  81. Steve-WSI Global Web Strategies says:

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

    15 November 2009

  82. Eldon says:

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


    15 November 2009

  83. 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

  84. Sunil Sharma says:

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

    10 November 2009

  85. 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

  86. 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

  87. 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

  88. 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.


    20 August 2009

  89. 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

  90. Ken Horsley says:

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


    7 August 2009

  91. Filipe says:

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

    6 August 2009

  92. 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 and aleady she was impressed when she saw all the info available…

    6 August 2009

  93. 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

  94. Roman Marta says:

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

    Roman Marta

    17 July 2009

  95. 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

  96. 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.


    16 July 2009

  97. Stacy says:

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

    14 July 2009

  98. 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

  99. Sam Parker says:

    Thanks Jennifer & Phils! Be SalesTough.

    3 July 2009

  100. phil says:

    this really hits the issues hard great site!!!

    2 July 2009

  101. 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

  102. Jennifer says:

    Great looking website with good, useable tid bits.

    Thank you.

    29 June 2009


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