Questioning is one of the most important types of communication and an essential aspect of information gathering. If questioning is done properly, you can even maneuver clients into selling themselves on your product. You have the option of engaging in several different types of questioning techniques. The ones you employ will vary from situation to situation.
- Relational Questioning
Relational questioning builds relationships. Use this technique when you are trying to gain the trust of your client. Ask questions that show that you have a genuine concern in solving their problem.
- Knowledge Questioning
Knowledge questioning gathers information. Use this technique when you want to gain an understanding of your clients and their needs. Remember, you have a product that they want. Ask questions that will help you understand how your product can meet their needs.
- Probe Questioning
Probe questioning is done after knowledge questioning. You have successfully gathered information, but you need to dig a little deeper. Use this technique when you are looking for specific details to the knowledge you have already gleaned.
- Educational Questioning
Educational questioning is done when you already know the answer. Ask questions that elicit answers that show off the strengths and benefits of your product. For example, ask: “Do you know how long the warranty on this product is?” Or ask: “Do you know what the three immediate benefits of this product are?” Use this questioning technique when you want to educate your client.
- Open-ended Questioning
Open-ended questioning revolves around phrases such as “Tell me about …” or “What do you think about …?”. This type of questioning does not result in yes or no answers. Take the time to listen to the response of your client. Open-ended questioning allows your client to talk about his feelings and concerns. This can help you gain a better understanding of his needs, which can result in you meeting those needs.
- Closing Questioning
Closing questioning can be very useful when you want to wrap up a sale. “Are you ready to make a decision?” Or, “Have I addressed all of your concerns?” are excellent questions that can help your customer gauge his level of comfort with the product and gain enough information to make a decision.
Questioning is the art of gathering information. The types of communication and questioning you use is up to you. Practice your techniques and see your sales take off.