Can you guess the four little words that demonstrate that you are adding real value in a sales conversation? (Hint: They’re not “Where do I sign?”) When someone pauses and says, “That’s a good question,” you know you are on the right track. It means the question that yielded this reply made them stop and think.

Sellers who make buyers stop and think are valued. It’s refreshing for them to be asked such a question because they are normally on the receiving end of a firehose full of ideas and features and benefits and details. A make-you-think question is liberating, in a way, because it frees the thinking. To ask questions that give a buyer time to ponder, make sure you:

  • Ask open-ended questions, requiring more than a yes/no sort of answer
  • Pose purposeful questions that help surface important ideas or insights
  • Give your buyer time to think, rather than filling the silence yourself
  • Don’t pounce on what they just said. Ask one or two follow-up questions to explore further. You will get more to work with.
  • Remain curious. Look for clues or signals from the buyer that something is significant (tone of voice, a certain look, a roll of the eyes), and probe for more.

A good quality question can open a relationship, expose needs or reveal priorities. There’s no better way to create genuine value than asking a well-constructed, make-you-think question.

Source: A posting by Deb Calvert. For more, visit

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