How to Sell More Through Great Questions

Todd Liles
Contributing Writer
Service Excellence Training

“If I only knew what he wanted to hear, I could have sold that job!”

This is the question you say to yourself when you walk out of the door empty handed. You wonder, “What was he thinking?” and “Why didn’t he buy?” Those are examples of 2 great questions that went unused.

You should find out what the client is thinking, and I’m going to show you how in this post.

What the Client is “Thinking”

There are 4 main qualifiers you need to discover when visiting with your homeowner.

  1. Point of View.  This is about discovering how your client sees the world.  This is also known as their Personality Style.
  2. Interest Level.  What is it that the client cares about?  What are the things that will motivate a client to take action?
  3. Ability to Make the Decision.  Are you with a client that can say “Yes” to your request?
  4. Potential Objections.  These should be determined prior to the primary presentation.

The best way to discover the “qualifiers” is by asking very powerful questions that reveal the internal answers.

The 2 Styles of Questions

There are 2 primary styles of questions.  Each one of these serves the same purpose, to gather information.  The approach for each question is slightly different.

  1. The Open-Ended Question.  This is a question that does not lead to a short answer.  It encourages a long answer from our homeowner.  That is why it is so powerful, because it reveal much about the nature of the problem, and more about the nature of the homeowner.

EXAMPLE:  Opened-Ended Questions

“Mrs. Smith, will you please and give me all the details about what has been occurring with your system?  By the way, there is nothing that I deem as unimportant.  I would like to hear it all

2.  The Closed-Ended Question.  This question wants a short answer.

EXAMPLE:  Closed-Ended Questions

“Mrs. Smith, is this the first time this has happened?”

Both styles of questions have their use.  They become more powerful when you combine the “style” of question with “area” of questions.

The Two Areas of Questions

The 2 primary areas of questions are “the emotional” and “the technical” areas.  As with all questions, they also gather information.

  1. The Technical Area of Questions.  This area of questioning is meant to unpack what the client “thinks” about the situation.  The example types shown above are all examples of “the technical” question.
  2. The Emotional Area of Questions.  This area of questioning is meant to unpack what the client “feels” about the situation.  You need to practice this method, and become very good at it.  It is in this area where you will discover the motivators, or the “hot buttons.”

EXAMPLE:  Emotional Area of Questions

“Wow!  This is the 3rd time this has happened!  I’m so sorry to hear that. How frustrating is this for you Mrs. Smith?”

“Mrs. Smith, tell me, what it is that you love about this widget?”

There is more to be unpacked on this topic, and you can get access to it in my free gift to you. 

FREE VIDEO DOWNLOAD – My Gift to the Buzz Readers

Hi, this is Todd Liles owner of Service Excellence Training.  I have a gift for you:


This is a VIDEO recording of a Training Session that I did with my good friend Terry Barrett.   We completely unpack this topic of “How to Sell More Through Great Questions.”  This will serve you very well if you feel like your sales technique could use a little help.

  • Includes Video
  • And Handout



Todd Liles, is the owner of Service Excellence Training.  They turn learning into earning for residential contractors. You can read more of his posts at

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