The best question to ask in a sales presentation

“A single question can be more powerful than a thousand statements”  Bo Bennett, entrepreneur


I was coaching a sales professional last week on presentation and we were discussing the value of questions. He asked me “what’s your favorite question to ask during a sales presentation”?  There are many great questions to ask a prospect in the course of the sales process, but below is my favorite question to ask during the actual sales presentation.

After identifying an important aspect of your product or service in a sales presentation stop and ask the audience “now why is this important to you?”  Then, of course, answer the question by explaining exactly how the prospect will benefit from your value proposition.

The best question to ask in a sales presentation

“A single question can be more powerful than a thousand statements”

 Often the best way to answer this question (“why is this important to you?”) is to give the prospect a specific and detailed example, of a current customer who was once in their situation, but who after transitioning to your service has experienced improved process, lower cost, etc. Or, you can share with them some impressive statistics about the performance of your product and then relate to them a specific and detailed example of a client who has experienced these positive results.

Steve Jobs (who I wrote about here) used this technique as well.  When launching a new Apple product with one of his renowned keynote presentations Jobs would introduce the audience to a particular feature of Apple’s latest product and then turning to the audience would ask them quite simply “so why do you need this?”  He would then, of course, answer his own question by telling them (or  showing them) how this new product would make their life simpler, easier, etc.

I think it works so well because all through your sales presentation this is really the question that the prospect wants to know the answer to anyway.  So the next time you’re delivering a sales presentation try turning to the audience and simply asking “so why is this important to you?”  Then go ahead and give them the answer.

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