How about some “How?” questions?


A while ago I saw a TV commercial 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 sending in one of your favorite "how" questions?

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?

(After preparing this piece, I went to my two-volume "How to Sell More, In Less Time, With No Rejection, Using Common Sense Telephone Techniques," to see what I had there about questions. I found over 50 PAGES of word-for-word questioning techniques, strategies, and questioning case studies. If you do any type of telephone sales, prospecting, or servicing, and don’t already have these books, I recommend you check them out right now at Not only will you find questioning info, but proven ideas you can use right now on ALL parts of your call.) 

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