Questions That Sell
The Powerful Process for Discovering What Your Customer Really Wants
QUESTIONS THAT SELL is published by AMACOM, the book publishing division of the American Management Association. AMACOM authors are experts in their fields, unrivaled in their knowledge, experience, and reputation. They are world-class educators, successful executives, business owners, trainers, consultants, and journalists ó all eager to share their insights and techniques with a broad audience.
In QUESTIONS THAT SELL, Paul Cherry states that you must learn to ask powerful questions that generate more sales — simply knowing the right questions to ask can make the difference between finalizing a sale or losing it. Most salespeople have extensive knowledge of their products, but many fail to ask the questions that will help them uncover their customers’real needs.
QUESTIONS THAT SELL helps readers use advanced questioning techniques to sell their products based on value to the customer, not on price — and increase their success rate as a result. The book contains powerful examples, exercises, and hundreds of sample questions, including:
- Vision Questions
Tap into a customers’ needs and desires for the future.
- Questions to Uncover Problems
Fix something that’s not working for the client.
- Pay-Off Questions
Get customers to articulate for themselves how much the product or service is worth.
Amazon.com Customer “5-Star” Reviews
for QUESTIONS THAT SELL
Essential Questions That MUST Be Asked!
October 10, 2011
By Ronald Cella "ronc813" (PA)
Great information is vital to the success of all salespeople. All pertinent information is available to you if you learn how to get it from your qualified prospect. Learning to structure questions will make your sales significantly easier.
That is what this book will do for you. Take prospects into the past or future. Eliminate ambiguity. Create a sense of urgency. Engage emotions and much more!It's easy when you know HOW!
This is sales in the 21st century. This book is a great investment in your future. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
TOP SALES BOOK. MUST READ !!
September 6, 2011
By Astrid_Dom (Belgium)
This is very practical book, with many examples and plenty of advice you can use right away!!
I'm a B2B sales professional since 2005 and I strive to continuously improve myself by learning from others, and by reading sales books and blogs. Initially the title and layout of the book didn't really appeal to me. Due to this, I read many other sales books, before reading this one. How wrong was I ! Paul Cherry really surprised me in a good way.
This book has instantly made it into my list of TOP sales books. A MUST READ for every salesperson !!
Questions that Sell is a great resource that I encourage any sales professional to add to their tool kit.
July 29, 2011
Leonard D Cochran
Paul Cherry's book Questions that Sell is an outstanding book for the sales professional that wants to sharpen their game. In today's economy every sales professional needs to get the most value out of every sales call and this book can help. There are a number of example questions that are useful in moving the business forward. You don't have to memorize the questions, but practice making them your own and incorporating a few into your next sales call and discover the depth that you can take your sales relationship.
The book's greatest value is in using it as a resource for ideas when prospecting a client. I found the thee-step qualifying process (figure 3-1 in the book) to be a helpful reference in coaching sales team members on handling clients that vague in their responses.
Questions that Sell is a great resource that I encourage any sales professional to add to their tool kit
WOW! It's like having your own personal coach on the sidelines cheering you on and picking you up!
May 4, 2011
As someone new to sales, I have been a sponge for anything that I feel will help me improve my skills. But I still wasn’t feeling it. Sure, I am nice. I am friendly. But, Paul makes it so clear that it is ALL ABOUT BEING HELPFUL! Maybe anyone can shmooze — but not anyone can sell (UNLESS you are coached by the likes of Paul). In chapter 1, I saw myself (Yuck). By chapter 2, I knew who I wanted to become. Through the rest of the book, I learned how. I immediately started applying questions and concepts I learned. My confidence soared! As did not connectivity and helfulness. I became a consultant and confidante. There is something magical about asking “What'll it take…?” GREAT BOOK FOR SALES BEGINNERS. My more experienced team members noticed the results and took heed, too!! To be frank, I learned how to shut up and listen!
Just What We Needed!
February 27, 2011
By B. L. Hunnewell
It's amazing…the adage “It may be common sense, but not common knowledge” really applies to me and my sales team. We were struggling to find the right way to approach future clients. We knew that our product and services we the best in the market and that our customers could benefit from doing business with us. What we didn’t know was how to approach them professionally and tactfully to get them to trust us enough to share their pain and needs. We knew the old school tactics of using tie-downs, nail-downs, and constantly maneuvering for the close by overcoming objections would not work and was fundamentally against our business philosophy. We needed a structured approach that was in-line with our company’s values and mission. Paul’s book “Questions That Sell” was just that! It was so obvious and so natural! We have been using his insights along with Jill Konrath’s “SNAP Selling” and WOW! What a difference. We have had a 60% increase in call backs, referrals from happy clients up 200%, and moral is way up in just 3 weeks!! We see ourselves now as team of business consultants who happen to have products and services as part of our offerings. I am looking forward to reading Paul's other book, “Questions That Get Results.”
A must read for anyone serious about selling.
January 7, 2011
I have not just read Paul’s book, I have made a study of it. I have been successfully selling software systems and services professionally for over 30 years but this has helped me greatly. This is a book worthy of your time and study. The concepts that Paul outlines work and work well. I found the book on Amazon after reading Neil Rackham’ss book "Spin Selling" (another must read). I read it on a flight to Dubai where I had a high level meeting involving a multi million dollar sales opportunity. I was so impressed that I spent several hours before my meeting planning the questions, in sequence, that I would ask. I then implemented my plan in the meeting. The style and sequence of questioning made this undoubtedly the most powerful high level sales meeting I have ever conducted. It totally won over the prospects and placed me at the forefront. If you are seeking to truly win over your prospect, have them see you as a peer and develop a good professional relationship (and win the sale) then this book is for you. But don’st just read it and put it down. Practice what he teaches and internalize it. It will be worth millions to you. I then gave a copy of the book to our Chief of Sales (another highly successful sales person) who found it so compelling he, in turn, gave a copy to our entire national sales force and then hired Paul to give a one day seminar at one of our conferences. I could not recommend this book higher to anyone who is seriously interested in professional selling and being more successful.
Happy reading and happy selling!
Most Useful Sales Book in My Collection.
January 3, 2011
By N. Ledwon (Washington, DC)
After starting a new sales position, I wanted to brush up on my selling skills, so I bought this book along with several other sales books (The New Strategic Selling, Selling to Vito, Selling to Big Companies, Major Account Sales Strategy). I found the other books to be heavy on theory and light on useful examples. It felt like their authors were trying to whet my appetite just enough to get me to sign up for a workshop, but not enough to give away their secrets. For example, all of us in sales *know* that we’re supposed to try and meet with everyone in the enterprise who influences the buying decision, but what, specifically, can I say when the gatekeeper doesn’t give me access? And once I get the meeting, what do I talk about? And in the negotiation, I *know* I’m supposed to focus on value, but how exactly do I do this? What do I say and how can I best word it?
This is exactly what I get out of this book. Sure, there’s a bit of theory, but the book is chock full of tons of useful questions to ask at different points in the sales cycle, like:
- Are there people in your company who will resist this change?
- Let’s assume you’re looking at 3 vendors that all meet your criteria - including price.
How would you make your decision?
- If in the end, the project gets put on hold, what would that mean for you personally?
- How do you differentiate yourself from your competitors?
- If you could change one thing about our relationship, what would it be?
- and HUNDREDS of others.
And the book is very easy to reference, as the questions are oganized well and the questions bulleted so they’re easy to find. That’s why the book is now a permanent fixture on my desk.
I think that in time, the questions will come naturally to me, but for now, I go through the book before calls/meetings with prospects and write down the questions I want to cover. So far, the questions have worked well for me. There was even a case where the prospect responded with, "These are good questions you’re asking, but I’m not the right one. Perhaps when you come onsite you can discuss these with our CEO." It reminded me of a "theory" another book once taught me, which is that if you talk like a C-Level executive, you will be more readily invited to meet with the C-Level executive.
Awesome Sales Book.
December 6, 2010
We are an IT Sales and Marketing outsourcing company so we have a very focussed sales culture already. Some of the elegant and intelligent questions I have found in your book have really helped us to step up a gear in terms of the value we deliver to our clients.
A recent example of this is a sale that was stalled because a particular customer was evaluating 3 solutions (ours plus 2 competitors) The competitors were heavily discounting on the prospect was asking us to do the same. As is his right if he can get a better deal. We'd already cut the margin heavily anyway. We asked the customer his decision making criteria, how we are faring against those compared to the competitors and he says that all the solutions meet the technical criteria so it's all about the price. Therefore give me a better price.
That had everyone stumped! How do we move the sale forward from there:
I was re-reading your book (for the 4th time!!) and came across this question:
“I was just wondering then, if we all offered the same price how would you make the decision?”
Bam, the customer tells us exactly what are the real emotional criteria we need to hit. Then we ask him how we show him that - what evidence he needs. We email that evidence and end up winning the deal.
Great stuff – and a lesson learned – there’s always a question to move a situation forward! In Sales or Management
November 10, 2010
A must read for anyone in sales. Questions are the key to sales success and “Questions That Sell” provides the guidance as to how to ask questions and which questions to ask at different stages of the sales process! I highly recommend this book!
Questions That Sell: The Powerful Process for Discovering What Your Customer Really Wants.
September 13, 2010
By Crunchworm (Greensboro, NC USA)
I thank Jill Konrath for recommending this work by Paul Cherry in her book "Selling to Big Companies". When it comes to needs assessment and consultative selling, most sales representatives stumble on what questions to ask to uncover the information. We used "Questions that Sell" as a platform in our employee training workshops to help sales representatives shape "Need Assessment Questionnaires" that tailor questions to uncover pain points that our products can satisfy. This is one of the better books out there on this subject.
Buying this book means you will sell more.
June 30, 2010
By Jersey Josh
I am a commercial real estate broker who just entered his 4th year in the business in Philadelphia. They teach you how to sell real estate at the firm, but what they don't teach you is how to sell potential tenants, buyers and investors. This book gave me an arsenal of questions, phrases and nuggets to use during my cold calls, meetings, and above all else, getting past the gate keeper. Would you go to a gun fight with just a knife? Read this book, be prepared to ask the right questions at the right time. You can thank me for the recommendation and the author for writing this great sales tool.
Buy it - you won't regret.
December 30, 2009
By John Doe “PDA”
Out of the three books on question based selling I bought at Amazon ("The Secrets of Question Based Selling" of Thomas Freese and "Open Question Selling" of Val Gee & Jeff Gee) this book stands with head and shoulders above the others. Questions that Sell is by far one of the most useful and valuable additions to my library on sales and business development. I wholeheartedly recommend reading this.
Questions are key to winning more sales
December 21, 2009
By Clark Dasalla “Sales Consultant” (Wilmington DE)
Questions that Sell is a book that provides terrific insight on how to ask great questions. The author made me realize that many of my questions are not very effective, and I've been selling for over 10 years.
He explains that the key to building and sustaining important client relationships begins and ends with asking great questions. The book provides lots of great examples and stories to make it an enjoyable read.
Some things I think others will find valuable about Questions that Sell. Read the chapter on lock ons. You can really understand the art of listening and how to decipher the meaning in the customer's words by following up with another tactical question. The lock on is an effective question to dig for clarity and to qualify if there is a legitimate opportunity. A lot of times customers don't want to tell you the word "no" or prefer to lead you on but never buy from you. The lock on allows you to find out now and not later. I'm looking forward to practicing the lock on to better manage my time and focus on customers who want to do business with me vs the "tire-kickers" who just want me to call on them to give free advice.
I also found the chapter on asking expansion questions where you begin your question with “describe, tell me, take me through, help me to understand…” very effective. I tried a few and they work. Getting the customer to do most of the talking on the sales call is the goal. You are bound to identify a key opportunity to sell to.
Asking great questions allows you to differentiate yourself from others and become a valuable partner to your customers. I'm going to read the book again. That's how much I enjoyed it.
Great, helped me with my small business, could be applied to any type
November 17, 2009
of business network
By Sandra Barton “total skank” (beaver town)
Buy this book. It is amazing. Its not slow and sluggish like many you might pick up that get a good review here and there. This guy is amazing, and it will boost your sales.
Read it from cover to cover in the shortest amount of time I have ever read any book. After I finished this book and began the next...I wished I was back reading “Questions That Sell.” Amazing. It was funny to see a few typos, I thought they had those things master minded through english scholars etc. Anyhow. Great Read. Great buy. Got if for less than $10.00. One of my all time favorites.
This book will help in any sales profession. I work for an attorneys office, and real estate on the side, and this book is number 1!!
BUY BUY BUY
LOOK AT THOSE REVIEWS!!!
Great Sales Training
January 6, 2009
By D. Bell “Dodger Fan” (Covina, California)
After 30 years in Engineering I decided to finish out my career in sales. It’s a fantastic opportunity but I have a lot to learn. This book caught my eye and it turned out to read like a good novel. The format and style build upon themselves in a logical and methodical way and you end up with a lot of great ideas. Cherry obviously has done a lot of research and has obviously walked the talk as many common situations are addressed and resolved. It is excellent training and wisdom for the beginner and veteran alike. You'll want to keep this book as a reference and multiple re-read.
Good view on sales
December 8, 2008
By Late Night “Biz Reader” (WWW)
I think the question oriented approach to selling is good. I enjoy books that discuss better ways to sell in this way, including this one.
Wow, that’s something worth of gold!
August 8, 2008
By Rolands Petrevics “taiwan.typepad.com” (Taiwan)
Most of the comments there already says all - it’s definitely a mega weapon in sales manager hands, what author gives, and book can be read and re-read again, there are lot of examples, situations analyzed – just great.
Just one thing I wanted specially note: THANK YOU, to author, who were the first (at least I saw), who explained how to react on the answer: “Yeah, buddy all's great with ya offer, but your price is 2 times higher than all other vendors.” Thanks!
Great book on questioning for ANYONE
March 21, 2008
By Gerald J. Acuff
I have written 3 sales books and I believe Paul Cherry has written as good a book on questioning as I have ever seen. He takes asking questions to a new level and we recommend it to all of our clients. I have read it twice and I plan to read it over and over. If you believe that by asking better questions you will be more effective in selling then this book you have to read. You won’t get one idea about a great question you will get 20. We believe that effective selling demands that as sales people we provoke thought when we interact with our customers or prospects and questioning is the best way to do that. Paul Cherry shows you exactly how to ask questions that engender thinking. An absolute terrific sales book.
Buy one for each of your sales people.
October 1, 2007
By JR (Saratoga, CA)
Very affordable. Quick read. Great help in training new sales people. It’s always a challenge to get my sales staff to really connect with customers and close a sale. This simple book helps them figure out what to say, or what to ask.
Questions That Sell: The Powerful Process for Discovering What Your Customer Really Wants.
July 18, 2007
By Dr. Tami Brady “Whole Health Therapist” (Calgary, Canada)
Finally, a sales guide that gets right to the point. I’ve read so many of these sales and marketing texts that lead the reader through a series of generalized statement such as “get to understand your clients needs” or “know who buys your products”. These are pretty obvious statements in my mind. Of course, getting to know my customer’s needs are going to help my business. It only makes sense that I will sell more if people actually need what I am selling. But how do I find out who my customers are, what is really important to them, and most importantly how do I get them to buy from me rather than from my competitors?
Questions That Sell is the answer. This book gives detailed examples of real questions to use to engage a potential client so that you can actually find out what they need, what their current problems with your competitor are, and how willing they would be to buy your product. I particularly liked the sections on how to determine whether the individual talking to you really wants you to phone back tomorrow or if he or she is just trying to let you down easy, how to determine if you are talking to someone who can actually make a buying decision, and ways to move along clients wanting to sit on the fence.
questions to succeed in business
August 28, 2006
By Bill Kniedsen (Missouri)
After finishing this book, I committed to practicing his concepts for three months. Wow! My income increased 30% the following three months. That was $25,000 additional commissions in my pocket. His ideas work.
Questions That Sell Works – I’m Living Proof!
August 26, 2006
By Jacqueline M. Kehoe (Palm City, FL USA)
I read Paul Cherry’s book in one sitting, enthralled by the advice therein. I was really challenged by one particular prospect who just wouldn’t give me any time. Putting the techniques outlined in Questions That Sell into action, I developed a more effective and more engaging selling style. In fact, not only was this same prospect now open to what I had to say, but he is now one of my most profitable customers to date! I highly recommend Questions That Sell!
Your Book Saved My Biggest Account
August 26, 2006
By Vinnie Bartilucci (Whitehall, PA USA)
I was getting some price pressures with this one client who wanted to take their business elsewhere. Using the chapter on dealing with objections and stalls, I was able to get to the real issues troubling the client, and prove the value of my solution. “Questions That Sell” is a great tool to overcome clients' reservations regarding price.
Great Guide to Finding Customers’ True Needs & Filling Them
May 8, 2006
By Dorian Tenore (Philadelphia, PA USA)
Paul Cherry is the Dr. Phil of sales and leadership training! His excellent book QUESTIONS THAT SELL helps salespeople to get to the heart of clients’ needs by truly getting to know your customers. Cherry’s anecdotes and written exercises teach you to phrase questions in ways that’ll spark meaningful dialogue, encouraging customers to explain in detail what they're looking for so you can best explain how you can help them. Cherry provides examples of many effective questioning styles, such as the comparison question (for instance, instead of asking your customer, “What do you like about your current system?”, say “Describe for me what you like about your current system versus what you do not like.”), the lock-on question (locking onto a particular point the customer makes; for instance, if your customer says, “We've been trying to get this project off the ground for several months,” you may respond, “I noticed you said the word ‘trying.’ What has worked so far and what has not?”), and many more. By reading QUESTIONS THAT SELL, you'll not only learn how to ask better questions, you’ll learn how to be a better listener, which is equally important in a good customer/vendor relationship. I highly recommend Paul Cherry’s QUESTIONS THAT SELL for anyone who wants to be a more effective salesperson and give customers the best value, not just the best price!
A helpful book that's easy to read
June 2, 2006
By K. Sparks (Delaware)
Unlike many books targeted to salespeople, this book is actually enjoyable to read. The stories in the book help to make the strategies put forth by the author come alive. So many other sales books that are out there are boring to read and useless for real life situations. This book stands out because it is well written, creative in its approach and filled with good ideas and suggestions.
engaging & fun read - lots of great ideas
July 12, 2006
By John Kenner "John" (New York)
I really liked this book. Lots of great examples on how to get the customer involved. Great resource on how to listen by asking key questions and how to qualify customers. Plus the chapter on minimizing price barriers and how to sell value is well worth reading. You'll find this book practical and straightforward.
Great ideas for establishing emotional connections with customers
June 2, 2006
By Michael Boyette (Philadelphia, PA)
A useful, practical guide that offers a new perspective on the use of questions in the sales process. Most people think of questions as a tool for gathering information. Cherry focuses on how good questions can help establish an emotional connection with customers. Sales are made on emotion, not logic, and Cherry shows how salespeople can get customers to open up and talk about what's truly important to them. I especially liked the technique of the "lock on" question — a question that quickly zeroes in on these emotions without making the customer uncomfortable. I employed this technique on a recent sales call and it worked!
Worth every penny!
May 18, 2006
This is one of the best sales books I have read thus far! I love how Mr. Cherry takes a step-by-step approach by describing not only what questions to ask, but HOW to ask them and WHEN to ask them during the sales process. I found this book to be very comprehensive and thorough…worth every penny!
I have recommended this book to colleagues and friends
May 16, 2006
By John Hudson Gregory (Canada)
Paul Cherry has been very clever. Many of us have been on countless courses over the years and read numerous books. He has taken a fundamental subject and given new insights. Having read the book I now listen more attentively to the words people use rather than what they say. This attention allows one to ask perceptive questions. I can feel myself trying the techniques in my day to day work. I have recommended this book to many colleagues and friends.
April 6, 2006
By Selling with Grace (Wisconsin)
Great book to stimulate your thinking and get you to ask good questions with your customers. In the past I've fallen into the trap of asking questions which ends up making the customer feel interrogated. I did all the talking and then the opportunity went nowhere.
I think this book will give you some great ideas on how to reposition your questions so you don't hit a lot of brick walls but, create new opportunities that gets the customer much more involved in your conversations.
Must Read Book For All Professional Sales Workers
March 19, 2006
By Darryl Montague (Philadelphia, PA)
This was a refreshing perspective on creating solid relationships with potential clients. When I first saw the book, I immediately thought that it would be no different than any other sales book I've purchased in the past. I was presently surprised. Mr. Cherry does a wonderful job in presenting why the importance of asking the right questions to clients can make or break a deal. I suggest this as a must read for any sales professional that wants to increase their sales and build a larger pipeline of business.
March 17, 2006
By Pete Coopers "Trainer" (West Chester PA)
It helped me to understand the power of asking good questions and how I can be in control of the sales process more completely.
I landed a big account that I have been working on for almost a year. I was able to ask the right questions and open doors that had been previously shut.
I found the book insightful and a money maker for me.
I highly recommend this book to increase your sales.
This is the answer to asking the right questions
March 16, 2006
By Charles Carey “Founder & CEO Compendian, Inc.” (Buford, GA)
This is with out a doubt the best book in print that deals specifically with the whole area of incorporating the right questioning techniques. It helped me think out of the box and create the right questions at the right time that will definitely produce results. The great thing is that Paul provides the questions for you, so you don't have to guess whether or not you are phrasing them correctly. I paid list price for the book at a book store and believe that it is the best investment I have made in my business and myself in a long time. Thank You Paul for your insights, experience and skill.
March 8, 2006
By Rob Phillipson “Sales Maven” (California)
Questions that Sell makes customers think.
If you want to differentiate yourself from everyone else, you have to ask thought provoking questions. Asking better questions gets people to open up, and to share with you their decision making process, criteria and what will motivate them to buy.
I can not believe that after all these years in sales, I have been asking too many mediocre questions. No wonder I have been getting mediocre responses. I'm excited to take my selling to a deeper and more meaningful level with my customers.
This is a must read!
Outstanding tool to uncover your customer’s needs
March 8, 2006
By Claire Domine (Philadelphia)
I've read plenty of sales books on the need to develop customer relationships. But Questions That Sell gives you specific tools on the “how to” and this is what separates this book from all the others.
Questions that Sell gives seasoned pros and those new to sales the skills of asking the right questions at the right time, whether it's in front of prospects or your most established customers.
One of my biggest frustrations in my field is dealing with prospects who constantly give you the brush off. I call on doctors. They’re busy and won't give me more than a few seconds.
After reading Questions That Sell, I decided to give the educational question a try which Paul Cherry writes about in one of the chapters.
Wow! After calling on this same guy for months and getting the same old, “I don't have time”, I asked the educational question and got the doctor to literally stop in his tracks. He then turns around and says, “You know that's an interesting question you asked and a big issue I am grappling with…” So he then asks me if I have a minute. Can you believe that? The doctor asks me if I have the time to talk. So that one minute turns into a 20 minute dialogue. Best of all, that meeting led to a $25,000 order with plenty more business to come.
Read this book. Whatever type of customer you are calling on, you will greatly benefit. There are plenty of examples on how to engage your customers, so you can create a deeper understanding, uncover their motivating factors on why they should buy, and tap into their frustrations so you can close more business.
Iím actually asking less questions now and getting tons more information, thanks to Questions that Sell.