Stupid Questions: A Smart Selling Strategy

Access your free 8-minute video now and learn why questions that might seem stupid could actually win you sales. Discover:

  • The secret behind “beginner’s luck” – what inexperienced sales reps do that their more seasoned competitors sometimes overlook.
  • Two types of “stupid questions” – ones that really are stupid, and ones that can open the door to new opportunities and enhance your credibility with prospects
  • The smartest stupid question of all
Stupid Questions: A Smart Selling Strategy

Why are we giving you all of this for free? Because it’s the best way we know to introduce you to a breakthrough way to develop sales talent in your organization.

Here’s how it works: Request your Stupid Questions training video now and we’ll email you a user name and password that gives you instant access to the Selling Essentials Rapid Learning Center. There you’ll find your free Stupid Questions training video and a collection of other training resources for sales professionals. You’ll have unlimited access to this powerful library of e-learning modules, reports and fast-read articles for 30 days.

More information for those who love the details …

Sales reps should think like a newbie

Experience is a great asset in sales. But it can also be a liability. An experienced sales rep might be able to rattle off an impressive series of facts, figures and details that indicate just how much they know about a customer’s business.

But with that sales experience comes a dangerous liability. When sales reps have extensive experience, they start to think they’ve seen it all. They assume they already know all about their customer, and don’t need to ask questions about how they run their business, because in their mind it’s obvious.

But even experienced sales reps would do well to think like a newbie from time to time. Very little about a customer is obvious to a new sales rep, so they’re more inclined to ask the questions that their experienced counterparts bypass. Some of those questions might seem stupid or obvious, but they have the potential to provide surprising insight into how the customer does business differently from other vendors – and that could be the discovery that wins you the sale.

Stupid Questions vs. Stupid Questions

Of course, there are some stupid questions you shouldn’t ask. Really stupid questions reveal the salesperson’s lack of knowledge. For example, you wouldn’t want to ask a potential customer to explain industry jargon that you really should know. These kinds of stupid questions undermine your credibility.

Here’s a rule of thumb: Never ask the customer to educate you about the industry in general. That’s homework you should do before the meeting. If you must, make a note of anything you don’t understand and find it out later on your own. But you’re NOT expected to be an expert on the customer’s particular situation or business. The sales discovery process is about asking “smart” stupid questions – questions that allow you to tap into the expertise of the buyer, who is the world’s leading authority on his or her needs.

Access your free video now and learn more about which sales questions can provide critical insight into your customer’s business.

The smartest stupid sales question

The smartest stupid question you can ask is “Why do you do it that way?” The answer will tell you volumes about your buyers — their values, their assumptions, their past experiences. And it’s the question most likely to tell you something your competitor will overlook.

So what’s the lesson here? Approach every sale as if it’s your very first one. And remember, the smartest stupid question you can ask begins with the word “why.”

Access your free video now as part of a free 30-day trial to the Selling Essentials Rapid Learning Center.


Steve Meyer
Stephen Meyer
CEO/Director of Learning and Development, The Rapid Learning Institute


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