Don’t Ask if You May Ask Sales Questions. Just Ask

in Questioning

Anyone talking to anyone else:

“May I ask you a question?”

A reasonable reply: “You just did.’

Ok, maybe it’s just one of life’s tiny little annoyances that is not a big deal.

Except, on the phone. Because what might seem like tiny nuances in speech can be major hindrances. Think about it, because of the absence of visual communication, the listener’s total perception of you is based on the words you use, and the way you deliver them.

Let’ s take a closer look at this one: prefacing sales questions with “May I ask…”, as in “May I ask how many locations you have?” Or, asking if you may ask a question.

When you analyze it, this is a waste of words and also implies that the inquirer is tentative and lacks confidence in asking for the information.

Those who are guilty might argue that they don’t want to appear pushy with their sales questions.

Nonsense.

As long as you’ve piqued their curiosity with your opening and hinted at the value you might be able to deliver you’ve earned the right to ask for information.

Plus, you can make your sales questions sound non-threatening with your tone of voice. Why not simply say,

“How many locations do you have?”, in a sincere tone of voice?

Oh, here’s another related offense: simply asking if you may ask a question. Such as, “May I ask you a few questions about your organization?”

If you say this, you just did ask a sales question!

The problem here is that their thinking now focuses on whether or not they want to answer any questions. However, contrast that with, “Tell me about how your organization is structured by region.”

Now they aren’t debating as to whether or not they want to answer your questions. They’re thinking about the answer to your request.

It’s human nature, really. People are conditioned to answer the question that is posed to them..

That’s why questions are so powerful. They prompt the person to think about precisely what you ask them.

Don’t ask if you may ask sales questions, just ask!

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