The One Sales Question You Shouldn't Ask

BY Jessica Helinski
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Successful selling requires reps to ask questions, and usually, the more questions asked, the better. But, not all questions are created equal. In fact, entrepreneur and Vice president of Business Development at PandaDoc Jared Fuller believes he knows THE worst question to ask in sales: “Does this make sense?”

While it may seem like an innocent question asked out of concern, it actually has no business in a sales conversation. In a HubSpot article, Fuller notes that he understands that usually, the question comes from genuine care. “You want to affirm that your prospect understands what you’re saying, so you ask the question and mean it,” he writes. “Unfortunately, it actually just confuses the prospect, which is the opposite of what you were going for.”

He goes on to give three reasons why asking this question can backfire and three things to do instead. First, he reiterates that the question can potentially place doubt in the prospect’s mind. As the seller, you are expected to be the expert of what you sell and how you sell it. By questioning if your words make sense, you’re immediately casting a shadow of doubt over your abilities. And, Fuller points out, “… the phrase sounds like you’re questioning the prospect’s ability to understand what you say or appreciate the content. How condescending!”

Instead, he recommends asking a different question to gauge the prospect: “How does that sound to you?” This question gives insight into the prospect’s mindset and understanding without questioning his or her intelligence (or yours). You won’t lose any authority as an expert and you are still showing care for the prospect.

Read the rest of Fuller’s article to find out the other two reasons why you should strike this “worst” question from your sales conversations. Instead, implement his suggested alternatives to improve your communication and have more productive discussions.