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Asking Questions

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Another way to gain relevant information is to ask questions. There are two types of questions:

Open Questions

Open Questions are questions which encourage information, and which cannot be answered with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Open questions begin with:

  • What
  • Why
  • Who
  • How
  • Which
  • Where

E.g., “What sort of problems are you having with your computer?”

Closed Questions

Closed Questions ask for specific information and can be answered with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Closed questions may begin as:

  • Can I
  • Did you
  • Do you
  • Would you
  • Could you
  • Will it

E.g., “Did you recharge your cell-phone battery?”

Open questions can be used to gather general information and closed questions can be used to gain specific information.

Listen to the customer’s initial statement of need, or question and then use the open and closed techniques to establish the exact need and all other relevant information.

However, to gain the customer’s commitment to you, and to encourage them to do business with you, you must take control of the conversation.