Loaded Questions

Posted: July, 8, 2016 | Categories: Sales and Customer Service



“A leader is not a person who gives the right answers, but rather, one who asks the right questions.” – Claude Levi-Strauss


We’ve heard it before, right? To sell your product, you have to “Ask the right questions.” The only issue is, we find ourselves fishing and wondering, “Well, what questions should I ask?”

…..I’m glad you asked :) 

There are a menagerie of tactics and styles in sales questioning:

-Logistic questioning

-Socratic questioning,

-and even in more recent studies, Funneled or Pointed questioning just to name a few…

However, what if I expressed to you that multiple questions can often cloud and hinder the decisions of a buyer? With so many questions floating around your presentation, a buyer can be confused as to which questions are truly pertinent to answer.

Here are 4 questions that can act as a catalyst for making personal AND practical connections with customers:


1. Why are you moving?

  • This can be phrased many ways. Possibly, “What are you looking for that you don’t currently have in your space?” or “What is it about your current home that you’d like to change?” What we’re getting at here is a very important factor: motivation. Are they moving for a job, new location, mother-in-law unit, bigger yard, expanding a family? Ask the practical ‘why’ and let the buyer fill you in on how to lead them in a direction that will fit their motivation and desire to make a change.


2. How do you plan to finance?

  • This is by no means what we would consider a ‘popular’ question, but, it is a question that is vital to ask early in the process for 2 reasons:
    • For the majority of buyers, their chief concern is how to financially make a change, and because a new home is an emotional purchase, money and emotions are closely tied.
    • This can assist you, as the sales associate, in qualifying this buyer’s legitimate interest. It can help you from spinning your wheels with someone who is truly just browsing, or may not be in a significant position to purchase. It merely helps you recognize how best to move the process forward
  • This is also a stellar opportunity to include information about special programs or promotions as well as imparting info about lending… your preferred lender will thank you! J

**Now that you’ve answered the ‘big 2’ you can move into more eased questions about details and timelines**


3. What do you want in it?

  • Feature time! Now you’ve got green light to open the door to information regarding features of the home and neighborhood. This is a segment of the process that can bring forth objections and concerns for a buyer in regards to what they’d truly like to see in the home, BUT don’t you fret… objections lead to answers. Get to know what they specifically want to see and why.


4. When do you want to do it?

  • Timeline is everything! Are they waiting until their children finish school, until the new job position is in effect, or trying to get in by the weekend? Knowing what a comfortable time frame is for the buyer can help you determine how best to attempt a close. If they need more time, be a rock star with your follow-up and if they’re ready to buy right away… be attentive to details and needs moving forward.


So, what exactly are the ‘right’ questions to ask, or what method is the correct style of questioning? My answer is simply this: ask questions that will keep your buyer connected, give you the detailed information you need, and evoke answers that can help the process move in a practical and personal way. 

Written By: 

Erin Suth
Regional Manager
Northern California New Home Division

By JWilliams Staffing

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