OPEN Question Selling Technique
Contact Us
Monday, 26th July 2021

Training Materials & Courseware Resource

Login Form

Instant download training package

time management training materials  
Time Management
for only
Price: $199.00  $179.95

click for more details


Why buy our training course material packages


Great value for a small investment


100% customizable


Standalone modules can easily be added to enliven your training material


Get new ideas for activities, exercises and games


Fun, competitive review game to end on a high note!


Download and get it immediately

Click to read more....

Retail excelllence series training package   collection
Now get the complete
3 complete professional retail sales and service training programs
for only

PRICE: $ 539.85 $ 349.95

myresultsLog in or join for free to see your latest self assessment results


OPEN Question Selling

OPEN Question selling is a unique selling technique that many professional salesmen use . It’s all about asking questions in a particular order so that you lead both yourself and the customer toward a mutually beneficial solution.

Operational Questions : Understand your customers situation and gather general information
Probing Questions        : Uncover your customer's biggest problems and needs
Effect Questions           : Explode the problem into other areas of business
Nail down questions    : Direct customer towards discovering your solution

These types of questions asked in a specific sequence  will allow you to:

• Understand your customer’s situation  - eg. So when do you make most of your calls?  Do you make most calls at a particular time of day?  Is your mobile the main phone you use?  Customer answers: I need to make most of my calls during the day, and I do not have a landline

• Uncover their main problem – eg. So why are you looking to change your plan, is there a particular reason?  Why do you feel your current plan is not working for you?  What are you mainly looking for in a new plan?  Customer answers: I want to keep costs down and be able to phone internationally

• Explode the problem into other areas of their lives – eg. So do you ever call internationally?  Do you ever use the internet on your phone? Are there specific circumstances when your current plan is expensive?  Customer answers: sometimes I need to make calls in the night because of time differences.

• Direct them to discover for themselves the payoff for buying your solution – 2000 minutes with insurance means that…… your monthly regular calls will be included and you’re completely covered if you lose your phone.

So now let’s look at each of these in detail...

To help you grasp the idea more , try to think of yourself as a doctor

 What does a doctor do ?
•  Note history and symptoms
•  Check the body
•  Diagnose problem
•  Consider best solution
•  Discuss and agree treatment` 

To do all this doctors tend to ask you a lot of questions, a lot of TED (Tell, Explain and Describe questions) and open ended questions – what exactly were you doing when you first noticed this?  How exactly does it make you feel?

In this sales questioning model (OPEN Question selling) we want you to take a somewhat similar approach to that of a doctor. Doctors usually ask a lot of open ended questions specially at the beginning to get you to talk more about your problems so they can diagnose it accurately.

•  Note history and symptoms – listening to the perceived, stated problem  for example : I need to be able to contact my children after school regarding picking them up from school
•  Check the body – ask questions around the issue – how many children?
•  Diagnose problem - eg. So you need to be able to talk to your children every day, 4 calls at a certain time in the day – afternoons mainly
•  Consider best solution – We have a family package which has 500 free minutes per phone per month
•  Discuss and agree treatment – if you all have this package, you have the cheapest option available, which will allow you all to speak to each other and co-ordinate pickups and identify your locations easily etc…
 Consider yourself as a doctor, your job is to ask questions to try to find out what the patient (customer’s) problems are and below is the questioning tool to help you do just that.

Operational Questions:

• Begin the sale
• Uncover the customer’s general situation and general problems
• Gather general information about the customer
Operational questions need to be open ended  like “ Tell me about .... “ , “ Describe to me .....”  , try to get the customer to open up and start talking about themselves.
Most people like talking about themselves but one word of caution using operational questions is that they can easily sound as an interrogation specially when you ask too many in a row and this is why they need to open ended.

Examples of Operational questions:

• What service are you using now?
• How long have you been with your current provider?
• What is your average monthly bill?
• How much do you use the internet in a typical day?
• What is a typical day like?

Probing Questions:

Probing questions, as the name suggests, allows you to delve deeper into the customers needs.
Now that you learned some general information about your customer, you may have a solution in mind, but we need to clarify further if it’s the right one.  Now it’s time to start uncovering problem areas with probing questions

These questions should reveal areas of difficulty or dissatisfaction your customer is experiencing.
A key thing to know about probing questions is that Every probing question should lead into a solution your product can provide for those needs.  You may well have a solution in mind, but make sure with these questions that your solution is the right one.

Every question you should ask must be geared towards a solution you already have but bear in mind you may uncover information that leads you to offer a different solution if it is more appropriate.
Generally, people don’t suddenly realize they have a problem.
Instead the problem begins as a minor dissatisfaction, a feeling that something isn’t being done as well as it might be.

Every probing question should lead into a solution your product can provide for those needs.  You may well have a solution in mind, but make sure with these questions that your solution is the right one.
Every question you should ask must be geared towards a solution you already have but bear in mind you may uncover information that leads you to offer a different solution if it is more appropriate. 

When you have asked the right operational questions and have been listening to the customer’s answers, you should be able to connect a probing question to at least one area of potential dissatisfaction.
And as we said before, connecting them to the customer takes the edge off and turns what could sound like an interrogation into a friendly chat with a professional salesperson who is actually listening to customer needs and providing solutions.

Examples of Probing Questions:

• Do you have a problem getting your email on the go ? – (Aiming for a specific solution you provide)
• Do you run out of credit sometimes ?   (Aiming for a specific solution you have)
• How much do you pay monthly in recharging your pre-paid line?  (Aiming for a specific solution you have)
• Cost: “You talked earlier about cost being a big factor, can you describe what concerns you have had in the past with pricing?
•  “You mentioned that you do travel a lot , do you have any difficulties in the service while travelling?”



Instant download training package

Communicating with Clarity and Impact (Click to read more)

This high energy program focuses on the foundational communication skills: listening, asking insightful questions, and interpreting non-verbal communication (body language, voice tone).

price: $ 199.95  $ 179.95


Effect Questions:

Effect Questions inquire about the consequences, implications or effect of a buyer’s problem. An effective sales person asks effect questions to develop the customer’s problems to the point where it gets so big that the customer needs a solution to it.

It can be a big mistake to assume that customers are aware of their problems. But you can avoid that error by asking probing questions to bring areas of dissatisfaction to the customers’ attention. A second major error is making the assumption that the customer has given thought to the effect that a problem has on the business. Effect questions take each problem and place it under a microscope for further examination of its consequences.

These questions ask what will happen if this problem remains unresolved. Could this problem create X situation? Does it cause . . . ? How does it affect . . . ?

Importance of Effect questions

Effect questions are the most powerful questions of the OPEN Question Selling Technique because they give the customer the “headache” that makes them feel the need to find a solution.

Benefits of Effect questions

(1) it helps the customer see how a problem is affecting his/her life/work/family
(2) it helps identify which problems are having the greatest  impact.

The whole reason for asking effect questions is to make the problem too big to ignore.And this is really where the magic of sales comes in. You basically go into a customer’s space (virtually!) to make them think about the effect of doing nothing. These questions help them to visualise - whether it’s in their office, on the road, or at home and you not only uncover problems, but also you ask questions that make the customer realise that the problem they’ve been chugging along with comfortably is now too big to ignore. Remember our doctor metaphor ? Asking effect questions is when the doctor identifies where it hurts and then presses on the place where it hurts most to confirm he identified the cause of pain and the patient cries out from pain. it's the same thing , here you want the customer to feel how discomforting his/her current situation is and how finding a solution is so important to get relief. 

Let’s look at some  Effect questions examples.

How will this problem affect your future profitablity?
What effect does the reject rate have on customer satisfaction?
What effect does that have on your output?
You only have three people that can use them. Doesn't that create work bottlenecks?
It sounds like the difficulty of using these machines may be leading to an employee turnover problem. Is that right?
What does this turnover mean in terms of training cost?
Could that lead to increased cost?
Could that lead to customer service problems?
Will it slow down your growth?

Effect Questions
Are strongly linked to success in larger-ticket sales
Are more difficult to phrase than either Situation Questions or Problem Questions.
A problem can generate many implications. You may have to ask several of these for each problem
Are essential to moving sales forward
Make the problem seem more acute to the buyer
Help to make the customer (and the seller) aware of hidden complications or of potential difficulties that may arise if steps are not taken to remedy the immediate problem.
By definition these questions make the customer uncomfortable? Be careful not to offend or upset

Always remember that good effect questions are always:
• Around saving money
• Around family members/friends/Spouse..etc.
• Around personal image and look
• Around time and convenience

Nail down Questions:

Before we get into Nail down questions, there is a very important point you should be aware of, this is something that real professional sales people are well aware of and to master this requires some practice and a high degree of self control.
Usually sales people uncover the problem and then move in for the close. The problem with immediately telling your customer your solution is that it does not give the client the opporutnity to think for themselves about the benefits. Nail down questions, however, build the solution up so that the client really want to know  what it is .  In other words you are asking the client to uncover for themselves the benefits of finding a solution.  Following are some examples for nail down questions
so in light of that, now you should STOP and do not offer your solution right away. Ask Nail down questions to let the customer uncover and think of the benefit themselves. That is the real benefit of asking these types of questions.

Nail down questions build up the value of your proposed solution in the customer’s mind. Nail down Questions are:

Are linked to success in more complex sales.
Increase the likelihood that your solution will provide the payoff that answers the need.
Focus the customer's attention on the solution rather than the problem
Encourage the customer to outline the benefits that your solution will provide his or her company
Pre-empts objections
Enlists customer buy-in.

Examples of Nail down questions:

Would it be useful to double your internet connection?
If we could improve the quality of this operation, would that help you?
Is it important to solve this problem?
Why would you find this solution so useful
Is there any other way that this could help you out?
So would you be interested in a way to control this cost?
Would it help you if ................?
Would you be happier if.................?

The problem with immediately telling the customer about the solution is that it does not give them the opportunity to think for themselves about the benefits. Nail-down questions, however, build the solution up so that they really want to know what it is. In other words, you are asking the customer to uncover for themselves the benefits of finding a solution.

Here’s how nail-down questions sound: Go through examples in the slide.
That’s why nail-down questions are so important. They don’t just lead you to closing the sale, but also they actually help your customers realise the value of their decision and feel good about it. Not only that, when other people ask them why they made that decision to buy, they will remember the value and the importance of the product because they were the ones who, in fact, had to think about it and verbalise it to you!

So when you ask a nail down question think of it this way:
you are helping the customers to make the best decision possible because when they realise the value and the importance of this decision, they will feel really good about it.

 If you are more interested in this effective professional selling technique , we strongly recommend you read the OPEN Question selling book (Published by McGraw Hill ) - check out our E-books section soon it will be availabe there for sale soon.

Related articles

Techniques for handling objections

 APAC Model for handling objections : An objection is good news. When a customer raises an objection, it means the customer is identifying issues that have to be resolved before the sales can ...

2012-02-04 13:16:05

Features,Advantages and Benefits

There comes a point, during the sales process, when the salesperson needs to present the solution that meets the customers' needs. Presentations can relate to products or services or the company ...

2012-02-04 21:39:37

OPEN Question Selling Technique

OPEN Question Selling OPEN Question selling is a unique selling technique that many professional salesmen use . It’s all about asking questions in a particular order so that you lead both yourself ...

2012-08-19 07:11:26

9 Closing Techniques

The purpose of this page is to look at nine ways of closing the sale. Any examples that are given will be general. 1. Ask for the orderIt has been estimated that 7 out of every 10 presentations end ...

2012-02-04 20:38:20

Cross-selling & Up-selling

Successful sales people always Cross & Up sell to increase sales AND give the customer the best solution possible. Please remember that the key to successful cross-selling and up-selling is to ...

2012-08-19 12:21:20

Selling to different Personalitiy styles

 Types of Buyers we Deal with Have you noticed how most people don’t like salespeople, or being sold to? When people are asked what they don’t like about salespeople they say things like: ...

2012-02-03 23:07:39

Professional sales skills & sales Techniques

Selling to different personality stylesOne feature of modern, relationship selling is that we need to understand about peoples’ preferred buying behavior if we are to sell to more of them. It is a ...

2013-02-10 14:04:37

Handling Objections

Defining buyer objections: Objections are really a technique the buyer uses to slow down and make sure he or she isn’t rushing into the sale. But Before we go deeper into objections, let us take a ...

2012-02-04 12:52:50

all courseware packages

Call us on our toll free

Sales excelllence series training package
Now get the complete
3 complete professional sales training programs
for only 

PRICE: $539.85 $349.95

How it works?


Choose your training package


Add to shopping cart


Pay using any major debit or credit card or using paypal


You will be taken to a download page to instantly download your purchase (You will also receive your download links by email)


Unzip the file/s and get all your documents in MS office format

training materials questions

pp ads

Call Center excelllence series training package    
Now get the complete
4 complete professional Call Center training programs
for only  

PRICE:  $719.85 $449.95

Training Articles

04 Feb

Techniques for handling ...

 APAC Model for handling objections : An objection is good news. When a customer ...

Read More ...
18 Feb

Cubicle / Partition Etiquette

Mind your cubicle Etiquette Although in your partition or cubicle you can't see your ...

Read More ...
17 Oct

Running a Team Briefing

Part of managing people is getting all the widely differing individuals who work for an ...

Read More ...

Get all available programs and save !! 

For only $2995.95

 allcourses   +  all mini courses
30 Full Courses   6 Mini Courses 


Most Popular Articles

19 Aug

Greeting Customers ...

Greeting customers , your crucial first impression Whether you are in a retail store, ...

Read More ...
21 Aug

8 Step strategic planning ...

The below 8 steps give you an overall view of the general actions that should be followed ...

Read More ...
04 Feb

Techniques for handling ...

 APAC Model for handling objections : An objection is good news. When a customer ...

Read More ...
   communication-negotiation-presentation-conflict-resolution skills
Now get the complete
4 complete training packages for one low price
for only

PRICE: $719.95 $449.95


The workshop is very well constructed, in a logical sequence and the content encompasses all the latest ideas and research.Ultimately a fantastic workshop to either deliver or participate in.                                                                    

Nige O'Shea FIMI, Professional Inspirations Ltd. UK's programs provide comprehensive information in a visually interesting format. Participants benefit from interactive activities that reinforce the content and making learning fun.

Jeanne Parks, Trainer & Business consultant, San Francisco, USA have worked hard to create a totally tailored training solution for Mobile Telephony retail managers and sales teams. By creating high impact visuals and with varied and intelligent use of ...

Craig Hines, innov8 Performance Limited, UK

I have purchased the 3 training programmes of the Complete Communications Excellence Series. I consider that the GBP 99 cost represents excellent value for money and the materials are of a high quality...

Alan Lloyd, Team Leader,EU Support to Civil Society Project

Contact Information

  • 12728 Mustang Rd Houston
    Texas USA 77057
  • (800) 561-9405


 Full courses (1-2 day courses)

  Administrative Assistant Skills

  Anger Management

  Building High Performing Teams

  Business Etiquette

  Call Control

  Change Matters

  Coaching People For Better Performance

  Communicating with Clarity & Impact

  Conflict Resolution

  Creative Problem Solving & Decision Making

  Emotional Intelligence

  Find a way to say YES!

  Front Line Retail Selling Skills

  Handling angry and difficult callers

  Lead, Motivate & Inspire

  Marketing Essentials

  Managing People

  Negotiating for Results

 New college instructor orientation

  Passionate Retail Experts

  Pathways to service excellence

  Presenting With Impact

  Professional Selling Skills

  Retail Sales Planning & Forecasting

  Sales Management

  Sales Territory Planning & Routing

  Setting Others For Success

  Successful Telephone Debt Collection

  Time Management

  Train The Trainer

  Vision, Energy & Passion to Serve

  Workplace Diversity & Inclusion Training

 Mini courses (half day modules)

  Professional Business Writing

  Communication Skills

  Motivating People

  Professional Sales Questioning

  Sales Forecasting

  Ten Best Practice Customer Service Techniques



 Complete Packages

  Retail excellence series®

  Customer Service excellence series®

  Communication excellence series®

  Sales excellence series®

  Call Center excellence series®

  The Presenter-Trainer Package



  Get All Packages

(Get all available programs for one low price)