According to Geoffrey James, contributing editor to Inc., the key to landing a sale could be as simple as asking five little questions. Asking questions is a vital part of the sales process, but sometime salespeople don’t ask the “right” questions, which can cost them the sale. In his article James introduces readers to five power questions that they may have never considered asking; I’ve included a couple below:

“What Makes Your Customers Happy?”

This question can shed light on not just your prospect’s customers but also the prospect herself. Likely, what the prospect is focusing on in regards to her customers’ needs mirrors her own professional needs.  If she mentions that her customers appreciate competitive pricing, be sure to discuss later your own pricing in relation to the value of your service/product. Additionally, this question lets your prospect know that you not only value her but also her customer.

“What is your ideal outcome from this conversation?”

By asking this question, you can uncover what your prospect expects from you. When you discover his true expectations, you can craft discussions to cover topics and issues that will meet those expectations. “For example,” James writes, “if your customer answers “I want to understand my options,” you’ll know to focus on providing information and perspective. By contrast, if the customer answers “I’d like to shave 5 percent off my manufacturing cost,” you’ll want to focus on the specifics of buying and installing your offering in order to achieve that goal.”

If you already prioritize question-asking during the sales process, you are in the perfect mindset to implement James’ tips. Find ways to integrate the suggested five questions into your discussions with prospects and unlock insight that will get you closer to closing the deal.