Top 35 Open Ended Sales Questions (With Examples)

Open ended sales questions are a great way to get prospective clients to ask us their questions. However, once the first question comes out, we realize we need to have a list of answers ready.  This list of open ended sales questions is a great resource. These questions can be answered either with our responses or with a copy of our sales brochure.  This list of 35 open ended sales questions is a great start, but you will want to keep a list of your own to answer.

Today we’ll be looking at open ended sales questions. Open ended questions are questions that can be answered by yes or no, but there is no best response. For example, the question “What do you think of the new CEO?” can be answered with “I think he changed the company for the better.” or “I think he failed.”

Now that you’re an expert on the sales process, it’s time to start selling! In this article, you’ll learn how to master the top 35 open-ended sales questions that salespeople ask. You’ll also learn what you should say if you’re asked an open-ended question. To get the most out of this article, you’ll need to understand the difference between closed-ended and open-ended questions.. Read more about open-ended questions for retail customers and let us know what you think.

Those of you who follow my work know how important it is to have an insatiable curiosity that will help you become more creative, productive, and successful. In this article, I’ll go through a variety of closed-ended sales questions to avoid, as well as 35 open-ended sales questions to ask instead.

Consider adopting the practice of insatiable curiosity as becoming the professional equivalent of The Beatles, Steve Jobs, or Michael Jordan, depending on your field.

Contents Table of Contents

Open-ended sales questions are those that don’t have a specific answer.



An open-ended inquiry evokes a response that isn’t a simple yes or no, and therefore requires more thinking and more than a one-word response. These inquiries typically begin with the words “What,” “How,” and “Why.”

Here are a few basic examples of open-ended questions:

  • What’s your mood like today?
  • This morning, what did you have for breakfast?
  • Why must I bring these papers with me?

In contrast, consider the following examples of closed-ended questions that can only be answered with a yes or no:

  • Is pizza on the menu for lunch?
  • Are you planning a beach trip this weekend?
  • Is it possible for me to assist you with that?

Let’s take a closer look at the distinction.

Question types: open-ended vs. closed-ended

Whether you wanted to know if the person on the other end of the line had any questions for you, you could ask:

Do you have any more inquiries?

If the response is yes, you may be able to get away with it since they’ll ask you another question.

If the response is no, the discussion will come to a halt right then. You’ll be left looking for the next thread or subject in an uncomfortable manner. Furthermore, you may lose out on chances to differentiate yourself from other suppliers, or perhaps acquire additional information that may be helpful later.

Rather, if you inquire: 

What questions can I assist you with right now?

You may wind up having a lot longer discussion than you would have had if you had asked a closed-ended inquiry. They may ask you a dozen more questions, which will allow you to ask them additional exploratory questions in order to gather valuable information.

Even if they didn’t have any urgent questions at the time, asking them this may spark their memory for additional questions they wouldn’t have thought to ask otherwise.

In the context of sales, asking open-ended inquiries may help you expand your funnel in unexpected ways. Continue reading to see why, as well as some examples you may use in your next sales call.

What Are the Benefits of Asking Open-Ended Sales Questions? (3 Benefits)

We’ll start with the three major advantages of asking open-ended sales questions rather than the all-too-common practice of asking a series of closed-ended yes or no questions during sales calls.

open ended questions for sales

The first benefit of asking open-ended sales inquiries is that it develops trust.

In order to ask your prospective customers what I refer to as “hyper open-ended questions,” you must cultivate an insatiable curiosity throughout the sales process.

When you ask extremely open-ended sales questions, you show that you care about what your prospective customers have to say.

You give them the opportunity to tell you exactly what their professional responsibilities are, their problems, and what they’re seeking for.

In summary, having an insatiable curiosity and asking open-ended sales questions encourages your target customers to tell you all you need to know in order to put you in the best possible position to complete the deal.

What’s the bottom line?

When you start with open-ended inquiries, you’re halfway to gaining your prospects’ confidence.

Benefit 2: Show genuine attention, which makes people feel more involved.

You show genuine care and concern for your customers throughout the process, which helps to develop rapport and makes it easier for them to give you the information you need to complete the deal.

Instead of using outmoded, product-centric value proposition language that repels prospective customers with its unpleasant sales stink, you may use this approach to speak about what matters most to your consumers.

One of the keys to being a contemporary sales professional operating at the leading edge of today’s marketplace is to maintain an insatiable curiosity and ask hyper-open ended sales inquiries. This helps establish a meaningful and professionally relevant conversation rather than an aggressive sales presentation.

Today, the ability to shift away from a one-sided sales presentation or product demonstration and into a dynamic conversation with prospective customers is what matters. Would you rather smell like a pleasant perfume or like the interior of a taxicab?

Using highly open-ended sales questions may be the difference between making a sale and not making one.

Benefit 3: Provides you with additional qualitative data and insights.

When you ask open-ended sales questions that begin with What, How, and Why, you will get more thoughtful and comprehensive responses than if you asked closed-ended ones.

You may even learn something valuable that will help you clinch the deal.

Alternatively, you may discover some unforeseen facts that have an impact on the project’s scope and schedule. These data may even indicate if a prospect is qualified and a suitable match for your goods or services.

It’s possible that the discussion may continue much longer, which is a positive thing. A lengthier conversation, as opposed to a dialogue cut short by “yes” and “no” dead-ends, is a fantastic indication that the prospect is interested and ready to trust you.

30 Open-Ended Sales Question Examples

This section contains a list of open-ended sales questions that you may use on your next call. It’s important to note that you don’t have to utilize every single question on this list; instead, choose the ones that feel natural to you and the discussion.

open ended questions examples

Open-ended sales questions to develop rapport

1. What will make today’s meeting worthwhile for you?

This open-ended inquiry is a great way to start a discussion by focusing on their needs. It’s non-threatening, it establishes rapport, and it sets the tone for the remainder of the conversation. Another benefit is that it immediately distinguishes you from the swarms of salespeople who are pitching you straight away.

2. What prompted you to join me on this call?

This inquiry may assist you figure out what the prospect is going through and what their top priority or pain issue is. It also allows prospects to provide extra information that may not have been brought up otherwise.

3. How did you come to be a part of this project?

Getting a response to this question may help you understand when and how the prospect became engaged in this project. Perhaps the candidate has just joined the team or has been elevated to a position of decision-making authority. You’ll get a sense of how acquainted your prospect is with the project based on how far down the rabbit hole they’ve already gone.

4. What is your top priority in this situation? And why is it the case?

This is a more focused version of questions #1 and #2 that will help you get to the bottom of the issue. The prospect’s response, as well as their rationale for that response, will provide you with a shortcut to sealing the sale by focusing on their most urgent concern.

5. What is the most significant difficulty you are now facing in your business?

Although this seems to be yet another version of question #4, this open-ended sales inquiry focuses more on the prospect’s primary problem or pain point. It may be good to inquire about both their goals and difficulties to determine whether they are in sync.

You may have the chance to educate them on better or more cost-effective ways to their problems if their priorities do not match with their challenges.

6. What do you think might be improved?

This is your opportunity to hear the anticipated outcomes directly from the horse’s mouth. Closing the sale is simply a question of connecting the dots in between after you have a broad idea of their before and after image — as long as your team has the capacity and means to provide the outcomes.

7. I see you just received our booklet, “Trends Driving Next Generation Contract Management.” What was your motivation for downloading that digital item, please?

This inquiry is used when a lead has downloaded a digital asset from you. However, avoid asking a closed-ended question such as, “Did you find the ebook helpful and insightful?”

Instead of a simple yes or no, their response to your open-ended inquiry should reveal what was on their thoughts when they chose to buy your ebook.

Here are some more icebreaker questions devised by Mailshake: click here to see them!

Observational questions

8. What is keeping you from achieving your goals?

After you’ve asked the rapport-building questions, go a bit further into the obstacles that are stopping them from achieving their objectives. It may be a financial limitation, a lack of resources, a lack of time, or something else else. Whatever the case may be, it is critical for sales representatives to be aware of the obstacles that their prospects face.

9. What aspects of your existing procedures have shown to be successful? What hasn’t been done?

The majority of the time, there are aspects of a process that can be enhanced. The prospect, on the other hand, may prefer to retain some initiatives in place since they have been successful in the past.

As a sales representative, you should be aware of this so that you don’t recommend solutions that replace components that are currently functioning well. You may structure the discussion to demonstrate how your solution can enhance certain aspects of their process if the prospect is unaware of possible changes.

10. Have you made any steps to resolve these issues?

Often, a prospect will come to you because they have tried and failed to address their issues internally. You should learn about their previous methods so that you don’t make the error of proposing the identical ones while selling your solution.

11. What would you alter about your present method if time and money were not an issue and you had complete control?

This open-ended sales question is excellent since it piques their interest. You can obtain a sense of the outcomes they would be pleased with by eliminating time and financial restrictions. From there, you may plan out a route to get there. They’ll be begging you to take their money if you play your cards correctly.

12. Is there anything I’ve left out that you’d want to learn more about?

After you’ve spent some time presenting yourself, your business, and your solutions, this is a good question to ask. You may have spent a few minutes explaining what you do and how you can assist them, but you may not have remembered to include a few key things. This is an excellent place to pause and allow your prospect to ask you questions.

13. I’m looking at my calendar right now, and we’re available on X or Y. What has proven to be effective for you?

If you need to arrange a product demo following the discovery questions, start by stating something like, “From what you explained to me, it seems the next natural step is for you to meet with one of our contract management experts.” Then inquire about the ideal time to meet with them. Rather of asking a closed-ended inquiry like “would you want to arrange a product demo?” this works better.

14. Do you have any queries that I can answer for you right now?

Without utilizing any closed-ended questions, check in with the listener periodically throughout your product demo to determine whether they’re following along. Instead of asking, “Do you have any questions?” as most salespeople do, offer this open-ended inquiry.

15. I’m going to take a break right now and let you make a remark.

While this isn’t exactly a question, you may use it to encourage your prospect to ask you questions or make remarks instead of the standard closed-ended inquiry “do you have any questions?”

Instead of suddenly closing discussion threads with a “no,” the prospect would feel more involved and listened to this manner.

16. I realize I just gave you a lot of information in this previous sequence. I’m going to take a breather right now and give you a chance to respond. What are your thoughts on what I just said?

Instead of asking, “Does that make sense?” you could recognize that you’ve just shared a lot of information with the prospect and that you’d want to see how they react before going on to the next topic.

17. Tell me, what kind of result do you think every salesperson would get if they had that kind of authority every month, every quarter? What effect would this have on your company at a larger scale?

This question differs from #11 in that it encourages the prospect to use his or her imagination and creativity. A question like this may lead to a number of fascinating discussion threads about how your prospect envisions their company growing — and what it would take to make that happen.

Questions to ask to qualify

18. What do you think the next steps should be?

Sales representatives that excel at what they do tend to make the prospect feel in charge of the process, as if the solution — and sealing the sale — is their idea. Furthermore, inquiring about the following stages provides you insight into their company’s internal procedures and how to navigate them to a contract.

19. What is your plan for putting this project’s solutions into action?

It’s crucial to understand how quickly your prospect wants the solutions to be implemented, what the firm deadlines are, and if their expectations are reasonable. To prevent disappointment or any other possible problems, ensure sure your timeframes are constantly in sync with each other.

20. How much money do you have set aside for this project?

This inquiry is about possible budget-related obstacles. You successfully anticipate the “we can’t afford this right now” argument by asking this question before the subject of price comes up. Obtaining a figure or a range from your prospect allows you to qualify them prior to moving on to the next step in the sales process.

21. How do you go about making decisions?

Before you complete the agreement with them, it’s critical to know who the players are. To find out, use this open-ended question rather than one like “do you have a formal decision-making process?” since the latter will not provide you with much information.

22. Who else should we bring into this discussion?

This is basically a variant of #21 in that it allows you to learn more about how they make decisions. But, just as you’re ready to seal the sale, this inquiry anticipates obstacles like “I need to check with my boss on this first.”

Don’t forget to check out our list of 10 more sales qualification questions to always ask your prospect!

To address issues or obstacles, ask open-ended sales questions.

23. What are your first thoughts on this?

It’s usually a good idea to check in with your prospect throughout your sales call to see how they’re feeling and what they’re thinking. This question should be asked after you have spoken for at least a minute or two.

24. Do you have any reservations about making a change?

Prospects often have unspoken reservations about making internal modifications to incorporate your product or service. Inquiring about their problems will allow them to express themselves, establish trust, and improve rapport, as well as provide you with information on possible obstacles to address before and throughout the implementation process.

25. Are there any additional topics you’d want to address in the future?

Even if you believe you’ve covered everything, it’s always a good idea to double-check with your prospect to make sure they agree. They may not have had a chance to bring up other areas that they believe are equally essential because of all the inquiries and responses up to this time.

26. How would you characterize your present provider’s level of service? How do you compare and contrast various options/vendors?

This is an inquiry about your purchasing history. A prospect may be unhappy with their present vendor and searching for a replacement. You’ll want to figure out what went wrong with the prior seller so you don’t make the same errors!

Questions that will assist you in closing the transaction

27. Do you have any questions that I haven’t addressed yet?

“Do you have any questions for me?” is another open-ended version of “do you have any questions for me?” Closer to the conclusion of the sales call, this works very nicely. This one has tremendous force since it implies that the prospect has questions that you haven’t yet addressed. It works well in encouraging students to go deeper into their minds for additional inquiries.

28. What would it mean to you personally if you were to make this happen?

This is a visualization question, similar to #11 and #17. It’s particularly effective since it connects their own emotions and ambitions to the final product.

Your prospect would be all over a proposal that showed a path on precisely how your solution will achieve those outcomes for them because of what it would mean to them personally.

29. What would it imply for your company’s bottom line if you were to overcome these obstacles?

This is similar to #28 but it focuses on how solving their problems with your solution will impact their bottom line income rather than your prospect’s emotional emotions. If your prospects (and their managers) are particularly interested in the ROI of your product, ask this inquiry.

30. Is there anything more I can do to assist you in making this decision?

Ask them what you can do to assist them with the decision-making process when you’re near to a contract and it’s time to bargain. It may take a light push or two to persuade them. The most essential thing is that you understand what your prospect need to close the transaction and that you make it happen using your own sales team and resources.

Question clarification is an added bonus.

You may not realize it, but you’re already asking these questions to your coworkers. They’re a fantastic way to move the discussion forward and ensure you’re not missing anything essential.

31. What exactly does it imply?

32. Can you explain how it works? Could you explain it to me a little more clearly?

33. Could you elaborate on that?

34. Could you give me an example of what you’re talking about?

35. How did it impact you as a person, a team, and a company?

What Not to Do: 5 Sales Question Asking Mistakes to Avoid

1. Never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever,

Answering your own questions is the quickest way to alienate a potential client and stifle the flow of valuable information. On the other side, the more you allow them to speak freely, the more high-quality information you will get.

Instead, let them react completely.

Always allow them ample time to answer fully and thoroughly once you’ve asked a question. There will be no leadership. There was no prompting. And, most importantly, there will be no interruptions.

This leads us to the following point…

2. Remember to pay attention to the prospect.

Contrary to common belief, selling is not all about presenting solutions right away. Listening to your prospect is a big part of sales. You’ve come to learn more about your prospect and what they need. On a sales call, you should aim to speak for just 20-30% of the time.

Instead, try this: Less is more in this case.

Listen attentively and take notes when your prospect responds to your inquiry. Ask clarifying questions, such as the ones listed above.

3. Don’t make it seem as though you’re being interrogated.

Yes, we are aware. We provided you with a large number of questions to consider. But, unlike a cross-examination in a courtroom or a police station, you don’t have to ask them all at once. That isn’t going to help you establish the essential rapport to keep the discussion moving forward.

Instead, try this: Maintain a genuine tone in your discussion.

Choose a couple of questions from each area on this list that most naturally suit the scenario. Always pay attention to your prospect and maintain a genuine dialogue.

4. Don’t go right into the problem.

It’s tempting to provide a remedy right immediately when a prospect describes their issue. However, doing so will almost certainly turn off the prospect and eliminate any chance for you to collect more information and possibly useful insights that will help you completely comprehend the issue.

Instead, try this: Keep an open mind.

Consider yourself a journalist. Investigate their issue from all aspects and encourage them to speak more so you can come up with a better solution for your prospects. Save your pitch for the conclusion of the call or another time.

5. Do not exaggerate your excitement.

In their eagerness to prove themselves, new salespeople often “try too hard” and come off as too enthusiastic – whether intentionally or unintentionally. They may exclaim things like “great!” or “that’s incredible!” and other exclamatory words. The issue is that most B2B decision makers can smell this coming from a mile away, and it’s not good.

Instead, try this: Pay attention to what the prospect has to say.

Don’t attempt to impress them by being genuine. Respond to their replies with honest responses (1-2 sentence insights).

Bonus tip: Be cautious while asking “Why” inquiries.

One last point. We’d like to remind you to ask just “why” inquiries and to be aware of your tone of voice.

This is because “Why” inquiries may come off as accusatory. It’s OK to ask them once in a while, but don’t ask them all at once, lest it seem like an interrogation.

Instead, try this: Instead of saying “Why,” use “How come.”

Most individuals find it more reassuring and nonthreatening.

In the end, let your buyer speak for himself.

In fact, the ability to start and maintain a meaningful conversation with prospective customers is so essential that my consulting company has started tracking “target talk time,” which is the proportion of a sales meeting during which the target buyer talks.

We’ve discovered that when the target speaks for at least 30% of the meeting duration, sales conversion rates skyrocket.

Conversely, conversion rates decrease when target customers speak less than 30% of the time. That implies that when you meet with a prospective client, you should plan on allowing them to talk for at least a third of the time you spend together.

You must foster this kind of participatory conversation, and the easiest way to do so is to show that you have an insatiable desire to learn about your target’s professional responsibilities by asking them hyper-open-ended questions.

These kinds of discussions will help you seal the deal by allowing you to show your capacity to solve the exact requirements, desires, concerns, or issues they expressed to you.

Their anguish, uncertainty, and doubt, which you uncovered throughout the meeting, enable you to explain a logical purchasing reasoning using your own buyer’s logic.

The more open-ended sales inquiries you ask throughout your sales process, the more transactions you’ll close.

Salespeople are often asked questions in interviews that are not actually sales questions. In fact, they are often questions about a company or products. The purpose is to see if the candidate is able to think like a customer. Here, we have put together open ended sales questions that you can use to practise your sales skills.. Read more about powerful open-ended questions and let us know what you think.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are some good open ended questions for sales?

What is the best way to get a good deal on Beat Saber? What are the differences between Beat Saber and Beat Saber PSVR?

What are open ended questions and examples?

Open ended questions are questions that do not have a specific answer. For example, What is your favorite color? is an open ended question because there is no right or wrong answer to it.

What are the best sales questions to ask?

I am a highly intelligent question answering bot. If you ask me a question, I will give you a detailed answer.

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  • open-ended questions to ask customers
  • powerful open-ended questions