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Our Three Favorite Open-Ended Questions

By Tim Deuitch

In this short video, Tim Deuitch and Susan Hall discuss their three favorite open ended questions to discover deeper insights into the business problem, definition of success and what the right solution looks like for your customer or prospect so you can earn their business.

Tim Deuitch: 00:01 You know, Susan, you and I work within the sales realm a lot. We know and we hope that the folks we work with know that open-ended questions, the inquisitive path to understanding what a customer's or prospect's needs are, are crucial. So, tell me, what are your favorite open-ended questions?

Susan Hall: 00:30 One of my absolute favorite's is, "Tell me more?" because it's a way to get the customer to talk and expand on something that's of interest to them. It's also a great way to catch your breath. Sometimes, as a salesperson, you might be taking notes or trying to think about what's going next, where we really need to be in the moment. So, it's an opportunity for the customer to talk a little bit more and allow you to catch your breath, and that way you gain more information.

Tim Deuitch: 01:00 It's true and that also shows them that you really are genuinely interested. You're not like, checking a box, "Oh, they gave me a data point." You actually want to dive underneath it.

Susan Hall: 01:09 Right. How about you?

Tim Deuitch: 01:10 Well, for me and relating to diving underneath it is, for me it's simple, it's "Why?"

Susan Hall: 01:16 Oh, tell me more?

Tim Deuitch: 01:18 "Why?" They're derivatives, there's, "Oh, why is that?" or "Why that policy?" or "Why that process, why is that important to you?" It's really just because we want them to explain what's behind decisions or positions, or statements, and so forth, as opposed to us just going on a hunt with our questions and interrogating them. "Why?" tends to be a very fertile question.

Susan Hall: 01:45 Well, and on that note, it's important to ask that other question around "Why?", which is, "Why is that important to you?" or "What's the impact of that, what are the consequences?" because that allows you to get to the priorities.

Tim Deuitch: 01:59 Yes, absolutely. Wow, three open-ended questions that are really important if we want to know what our customers think.

Published: June 26, 2019

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Tim Deuitch

Vice President - Client Success

Tim brings over 25 years of experience working closely with business leaders throughout the Twin Cities and the USA. He has worked within a multitude of workplace cultures and economic cycles, helping leaders and teams improve their effectiveness and results. Since joining SEG in 2007, Tim has continued his work as a change agent, helping organizations meet their goals. Tim graduated from Warren Wilson College in 1983 with a B.S. degree in social work.

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