How to Ask Better Questions

How to Ask Better Questions

Showrooms may help their sales professionals succeed by establishing standard procedures and goals for first meetings with prospective clients.  If the initial client meeting is in the showroom, the goals should be to understand what the prospect wants to achieve, determine the budget available for the project, to establish trust and schedule a follow-up appointment at the client's home to measure the space. The key to achieving these goals is to ask the right questions and listen intently to responses.

It most client meetings, open-ended questions, questions that require more than a one- or two-word answer, are most effective. For example, instead of asking a client what style they prefer, a better question may be to ask them to describe the style of their home and pieces or fixtures that they find most appealing. Follow up by asking why that style appeals to them. You can inquire about the type of research that the client has done to prepare for the showroom visit and the type of kitchen or bath that they prefer.  Another open-ended query would be to ask, "If you were going to invite your best friend to dinner three years from now, what needs to happen for you to be excited about preparing that meal?"

Use the same approach to inquire about budgeting. Instead of asking, "Do you have a budget for this project?", or "What's the budget you have in mind?," you can ask, "How did you determine the budget for your project?"

It's okay to ask questions such as, "What's your timetable?," provided there is a follow-up question that asks, "What challenges have you considered that would cause your project to stall?" Other questions to consider:

  • What were some of the best decisions you made when improving your living space?
  • How do you feel about your current kitchen, bath, home?
  • How will you determine the success of this project?
  • What do you see as the most significant risks that you will encounter for this project?
  • What are the best days and times to come to your home to measure the space?

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