5 alt=In today’s selling world it’s generally agreed upon that the goal of any selling interaction is to get your prospects talking about their situation.

And if this isn’t your goal, it’s time to make it so for any sales interaction. After all, when you have your prospect talking about their business challenges, objectives and outcomes, this puts you in a position of strength and control in that individual selling situation. The goal is to shift the conversation from features and benefits to outcomes.

Three Questions to Ask Your Prospects that Will Get Them Talking About Outcomes

#1. “What are you looking to accomplish?” This simple question will get your prospect viewing the big picture. For instance, suppose you have a marketing company, and a prospect approaches you, asking about your marketing solutions. Shift this topic to their outcomes. Focus on the prospect. By removing the focus from yourself, you actually control the discussion.

#2. “What is your biggest challenge with regards to (your product or service category)?” This question will automatically open up a conversation that’s based on the value that you can bring to the prospect; the value you bring is your ability to solve the prospect’s challenges.

By engaging them in a conversation about challenges, you get them to reveal the areas where they need you the most. So when it comes time to put together a proposal or a presentation, you are only focused on the challenges that are most relevant to your prospects.

#3. “If you had a magic wand and could change anything about (your product or service category), what would it be?” This question will get prospects to reflect upon their challenges in a way that they never had or would not normally do; it’s sometimes difficult immediately list off what the challenges are for a prospect.

By placing a magic wand in their hand, this allows them to really think about what their top priority might be or their greatest challenge to resolve.

Once this is established, you now have a much more pinpointed, better conversation to focus on and a deeper understanding of the prospect’s situation. Never be short on magic wands; they’re a potent instrument in your tool bag.

Any one of these three questions will get your prospects talking, but asking at least two of them in every selling situation will ensure that you will gain a substantial understanding of your prospect’s selling situation. What questions do you ask your prospects to get them talking? Please share below in the comments.

Get 25 tips to crush your sales goal. Written by Marc Wayshak, sales strategist & author of the book, "Game Plan Selling."