4 Problem-Focused Sales Questions that Close Deals


As an entrepreneur, you are primarily a problem solver. People don’t buy your products; they buy your solutions.

Yet many entrepreneurs don’t focus on the customer’s problem when selling. Instead, they fixate on their own product and how great it is.

This is backwards, says Michael Miller and Margaret Fowler of Rise UpSelling. Yesterday, Louisiana Technology Park had its first session of its new series: Tech Park Academy. At the event, Michael and Margeret delivered an energetic lecture about problem-focused sales techniques and effective selling in general.

Attendees at the first Tech Park Academy session with Rise UpSelling.

Use these four problem-focused questions to close more deals:

Power Question #1: “I have solved problems for businesses before. How can I help solve yours?”

Ask this question at the beginning of the sales process.

This introduction lets you establish credibility right from the start. It’s a matter-of-fact opener, but doesn’t sound pompous. Also, the question opens the door for you to talk about your experience and successes.

Most importantly, however, it lets the customer know one key item: their concerns are your concerns, and their problems are your problems.

Power question #2: “What is the end result that you’re looking for?”

Use this question during the rapport-building phase of the sales process.

People aren’t stupid. They know when you actually understand their problem and when you’re just spitballing.

So rather than asking a long series of related queries that fill in pieces of the puzzle, simply cut to the chase and ask for all the pieces at once.

Power question #3: “I hear your problem. I’m interested in solving it. Are you ready?”

Ask this question toward the end of the sales process.

Empathy is important in closing deals, and so is connection. Buyers want more than just a logical solution, they want to feel assured and supported.

So when buyers do feel that a personal connection exists, they become more likely to buy. So both connecting as well as closing at one time is a powerful one-two punch.

Power question #4:  “Why?”

Use this project after the sales cycle, and after you’ve been told “no.”

Why is it important to even speak to the client at this point, you ask? Because, as the old business adage goes, “‘No’ is the second best answer you can get.”

In other words, “No” is an opportunity to gather information, which you do by asking “why.” Sounds simple, but many salespeople walk away, leaving valuable information behind. As a result, the salespeople close fewer sales moving forward.

Remember, focus on the problem, not the product. Empathizing with the client will, in their eyes, put you both on the same team. Wouldn’t you be more likely to buy from someone on your side?

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