74 How Questions You Can Use

in Questioning

It’s Masters week, the week that most of us golf geeks look forward to all year. What’s really cool about the TV telecast is the number of commercials are limited to just four minutes per hour, as opposed to the normal 12 or so for regular tournaments.

I find most TV commercials really stupid. I can’t believe that supposedly smart executives actually pay for some of the ridiculous TV ads. If I see the guy sitting at the kindergarten table asking little kids questions again might head might explode.

Maybe it’s just me, but I do enjoy golf-related commercials. I saw one for Ping, the golf club company. The theme of the commercial was how Ping built its fine reputation by always asking, “How?”
HOW could they make a better putter?

HOW could they make golf more enjoyable with their equipment?

That’s when I dragged my rear out of the chair, grabbed a pen and started scribbling lots of ways that we as salespeople can use “how” with our prospects and customers.

A few points on these questions:

-I’ve grouped these questions into categories, but you’ll see that many of them are interchangeable.

-They’re not in a particular order, although some could be used as good follow-up questions in response to their answers to a previous question.

-Also keep in mind that you wouldn’t necessarily use just “how” questions exclusively. Mix in the Who, What, Where, and Why questions.

-As you read them, think about how you can use and/or adapt these for your own calls. Better yet, take notes.

-This list is not all-inclusive. Matter of fact, how about YOU adding one or more of your favorite “how” questions below in the comments?

Oh, and remember, the most important thing about questioning is that you LISTEN to their answers, use the information, and react accordingly.



How do you get new business?

How could you get more?

How could we help you get more?

How do you plan on achieving your sales goals this year?

How does the purchasing process work at your business?

How are decisions like these typically made?

How is money normally budgeted?

How did you make the decision last time?

How could you use our product/service?

How did you select the previous vendor?

How do you evaluate new vendors?



How did that work last time?

How often does that happen?

How does that affect other departments?

How are you doing it now?

How is your situation unique?

How could it be done better?

How can we help you do it better?

How do you see this developing?

How could it be improved?

How would you describe your present level of service/satisfaction?

How are you going to fix the situation?

How did you handle it last time?

How does that problem impact other departments?

How long has it been going on?

How much does it cost you?

How much time does it take now?

How is it being handled now?

How will you handle it?

How did you/your employees/your customers react?

How does that make them feel?

How does that make you feel?

How did that happen?

How will you prevent it from happening again?

How would you define good service?

How would you describe …?

How does poor quality affect the final product?

How much do you think you would save if that problem was solved?

How would you use it if you had it?



How can we make this work?

How can we make this happen?

How about starting out with a trial order?

How can we get approval?

How would you like to proceed?

How soon can we get started?

How about starting now?

How many do you want to start with?

How do you see us proceeding?

How fast will you need this?

How much will you need to start off with?

How can we be the ones that you’ll choose?

How can we be part of the bidding process?

How do you want to pay for this?

How do you want this delivered?



How much is “too much”?

How could we solve that?

How much resistance do you expect internally?

How can we both make this work?

How much of an issue is that, really?

How do we get around this issue?

How can you/we find the money?

How can I help?

How can I be of service?

How could we improve?

How are we doing?

How can we change?

How can we do it better?

How can I fix it so you’re satisfied?

How have we done for you?



How can I change?

How could I increase my sales and production by 30% this quarter?

How am I going to reach my goals?

How should I start?

What are your HOW questions? Leave them in the comments below.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

jim smith April 9, 2014 at 4:56 am

how can I get more clients


Dale Williams April 9, 2014 at 7:36 am

Art – Thanks for your email newsletter. I always enjoy reading them and share many during sales meeting with my reps. Here is a “How” question which deals with people’s emotional feelings. What I call “dream questions”…..it helps them get off the “it won’t work for me fence”.

“How will this change your business if it does in fact work”?


Dale Williams


Mike Sawisky April 9, 2014 at 9:58 am

How can I ever be as smart as Art?


Louie Bernstein April 10, 2014 at 6:51 am

Your price is too high.
How high is “too high”?


Jeff Gimar April 15, 2014 at 8:01 am

How does Art get his baby back ribs to taste so damn good?


steve April 18, 2014 at 8:03 am

Were your originally involved in the decision to select your present supplier?


Mayra Cantu April 24, 2014 at 2:08 pm

Thanks for sharing this !!


Matt Gallant April 13, 2016 at 10:20 pm

Great tips. Just the things that I need to further enhance our marketing skills especially in cold calling. Thanks!


Jeramie Hieb July 22, 2016 at 8:14 am

Here is my favorite ? advice.

( I do not recal where I learned this…it was probably Art. Thank you for you sir.)

NEVER ask “Why”….did you do that?

INSTEAD ask “What made you decide to handle it that way.”

This approach avoids defensiveness and allows the client/prospect to open up to you, which in turn brings you closer together.

Thanks again for you Art.


Todd Flanagan October 14, 2016 at 9:16 am

Always appreciate reading your newsletters Art.

2 thoughts to always have an answer to …

How is this impacting you today? (this is a question on personal impact not company)
How will addressing this help YOU moving forward?


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