Strategic Human Capital Insights

The Focus of Questions: The Power Tool in the Sales Toolkit

Young woman in casual holding balloon shaped like question markWe hope you have enjoyed our blog series on Sales & Business Development so far.  This is the fifth blog in our series. In case you missed the other blogs, you can
 view them here.

So far in this series, we have focused on the marketing mindset required for relationship selling.  The marketing landscape you find yourself in will help you identify the tools you need to effectively navigate through this landscape.  Both the marketing mindset and the tools / skills are necessary. They represent the holistic WHAT, WHY and HOW of relationship selling and must be integrated to manage the effective and efficient relationship sales process.

Questions – The Power Tool in the Sales Toolkit 

You can never underestimate the power of the properly used question.  When we talk about the relationship sales process, we focus on understanding the client’s business, its growth and it’s challenges.  To understand what that means from the client’s perspective, sales must ask questions.  Questions are everything – the power tool in your sales toolkit.  Questions move the focus to the client.  What we know about the client, at the most tangible level, and how we can differentiate and position our product / solution, depend on the information the sales group discovers.  The only way to do that is with the best and most efficient questioning process - the client diagnostic.  It is not solely about the question, but the question starts the information process and then keeps that information process going.

Here are the key skills that are required during the questioning process: 

  • Asking questions
  • Listening to the answers
  • Engaging in the two-way conversation
  • Keeping focused and using mental agility to process all presented information

Caution, This Is Not Easy

The following information outlines the basic information about the questioning process:

  1. Questions show you how to turn an ordinary conversational skill – the art of asking questions – into a formidable business tool.
  2. Questions demonstrate not only your intelligence but also the depth of your attention and concern.  When you know how to ask the right questions, you can positively control the situation to an optimal outcome.


To better understand the power that questions have during the relationship sales process,
 I invite you to learn more about our Sales & Business Development program as part of the Phoenix Strategic Performance Institute. This program helps you to strategically align your sales process to accelerate the relationship sales process, creating corporate growth and building strategic value.

Explore the Sales & Business Development Program

Topics: Business Development

Posted by Joanne Flynn

Joanne Flynn

Joanne T. Flynn heads up the human capital advisory group, Phoenix Strategic Performance, Inc. Previously, she was a Managing Director with Phoenix Group International and was Vice President / Director of Global Learning and Development at Goldman, Sachs for nine years. Joanne works with organizations as they face global growth and competitive challenges. She works with her clients to be both externally focused and internally responsive. With her unique background, she aligns competitive strategic efforts with related internal organizational leadership challenges. With the benefit of her career-long focus, Joanne contributes the unique insight of aligning strategy to internal organizational structure and process. She focuses on human capital relative to strategic initiatives, accelerated business growth, value creation, and business development. Joanne holds a Master of Arts degree in Business Management from the University of Oklahoma. In addition, she holds a double degree major in History and German from St. Elizabeth University, as well as certificates from a variety of leading universities and professional training and development organizations. Joanne has recently published her latest book, Accelerating Business Success, The Human Asset Management Strategy.

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