Never Ask These 5 Stupid Sales Questions

I’ve done countless videos on which sales questions
you should be asking. But what about the sales questions that you absolutely should not be asking? All salespeople have received the memo that they should be
asking sales questions. But there are really a
lot of questions out there that are simply stupid. They’re actually hurting
salespeople in the sales process, as in prospects hear these questions and then they become turned off. So I’ve made a list of the
top five worst questions that I hear salespeople
using all the time. And this way, you can ensure
that you never ask them. In this video, I’m going to show you five stupid sales questions
that you should never ask. Check it out. Number one, “How are you?” “Hey, how are you?” Oh, my God. This one is particularly personal to me because it is so pervasively used as a conversation starter in
95% of selling situations. And what’s crazy is that people
just say this reflexively, and it’s killing them. The prospect knows that you don’t really
care how they’re doing. It’s not even really a
question in today’s world. It’s really just a time filler of space. And given that most
salespeople are starting calls, meetings, and even emails
with this cliche question, you need to stop. Just stop ever asking
anyone that question, even your friends. You’ll be better off coming up
with something more creative. Ask them anything else,
or don’t ask them at all. Just stop using this question. Now as a way to start a conversation, instead you could just try
starting a conversation with something a little simpler,
but a little bit distinct, which is like, “Did I catch you
in the middle of something?” This will actually catch
them far more off-guard and will be more likely to
actually get engagement. Number two, “Can I pick your brain?” “Hey George, can I set up a call “so that way I can pick your brain “on what you’d be looking to accomplish?” Wow, that is the worst. First of all, nobody wants
their brain to be picked. I mean, just like, visualize it. But on a serious note, any
question even similar to this is a complete turn off to prospects. Even something like, “Can we set up a call “so I can learn more about
your challenges?” is crap, because it shows absolutely zero value on the salesperson’s part. You need to show value. Engage them in a conversation
by email, phone, or whatever, and show some value through
the quality of your questions and the information that you’ve provided. Then just set the logical
next step, to go deeper. Brain-picking is a no-no. Number three, “Would
you be interested if?” “George, would you be interested “if I could show a way
to double your sales?” Of course you would. This stupid question is
not only old-school salesy, but it’s also patronizing. Whatever you fill in the blank
there is going to be dumb. Moreover, you’re already
starting from the wrong place. In a selling situation, you’re not trying to get
a prospect interested, you’re trying to uncover their challenges. Interest is old-school. New-school modern-day selling is all about identifying the challenges that matter and then solving them. Interspace selling totally focuses on the
product that you are selling, rather than the actual prospect. So, drop it. Instead, ask questions
to uncover challenges. Number four, “Are you the decision maker?” “Hey George, are you the decision maker?” Let me ask you something. If I asked you right now
are you the decision maker, what do you want to say? Yes. I’ve literally just challenged
your manhood or womanhood. It’s way too direct and will not get you the
information you really need. All you’ll actually accomplish
by asking that question is either getting false information or actually pissing the prospect off. Instead, learn about their
decision making process by focusing on the process. It takes a lot of pressure off of them trying to show that they’re the boss. So when you dig into their
decision making process, they will inevitably tell you who’s involved in their decision, and just as importantly how they actually go about
making that decision. This is much more important information. Number five, “What can
I tell you at this point “that would make you want to buy?” “George, what could I tell you right now “that would make you
sign on the dotted line?” Ugh, I need to take a shower
just after saying that. It’s just dirty. I feel like a creep at
a bar, just catcalling. This question is so old-school, so high-pressure, so transparent that I shouldn’t even have to
explain what’s wrong with it. But the biggest problem here is the pressure that it’s
actually putting on a prospect. You’re going to get a
shitload of think-it-overs if you ask questions
like this, so just stop. Instead, help the prospect
uncover challenges, show how your offering
will actually solve them, and then set clear next steps. No ninja headlock closes. So there are the five
stupid sales questions that you should never ask. I wanna hear from you. Which of these ideas did
you find most useful? Be sure to share below
in the comment section to get involved in the conversation. And if you enjoyed this video, then I have this awesome free ebook on 25 Tips to Crush Your Sales Goal. Just click right here to
get instant access to it. Also, if you got some value, please like this video below on YouTube. And be sure to subscribe
to my YouTube channel by clicking right here, my little face, to get access to a new video just like this one each week. Until next week.

100 comments on “Never Ask These 5 Stupid Sales Questions

  1. FANTASTIC video, Marc!!
    When I first started working as a tele recruiter in a call center, and had to go through my training days. I had to watch how others were doing their intros with the clients on the phone. 99.9% of everyone in the room from what I heard was…'hi, how are you….''..I always always thought. Do you really care how that person on the other side of the phone is okay or not?
    Although for a while I followed the speil and did the same as them. But you can always tell when you are on the phone after this greeting, with the response that the person on the other end is just responding to the formalities and know that you know that is all it is. Lip service.
    You know when your mouth is talking but your brain is saying..why am I saying this?
    I am so glad you brought this up. It just confirms my own perspective about it. I saw the example telephone convo you made in another video and liked it and applied it. It worked almost most of the time. I did get a good couple more closes than previously. So it more genuine to cut that ridiculous intro out. Than to incorporate it. Nice job!

  2. Been a week on the phones and I'm not reading from my script any more still fumbling a little and I need to work on talking clearly found my self merging words but I now know let's see what progresses I make after the weekend better start booking leads bit watch you before I go to bed and on my lunch break I will be on a k a week by June at least and make number 1 if not I'm the first loser lol

  3. Great guidance regarding the questions with advice. Should include role plays and illustrate what right looks like so it's not just preaching.

  4. Could sombody, please, explain what is "Interspace selling"? I could not find its definition anywhere. Thanks in advance!

  5. A supervisor recently got pissed at me for not saying how are you.

    I never do that because I actually care to sell by using permission.

  6. i think you need a new editor, Marc. Some very light upbeat background music, some aesthetic words on screen, maybe image cutoffs. I think I can help you in this area, Marc.

  7. Welp this wasted my time… Literally everyone of these things could be used in millions of sales situations everyday. Not everyone is selling heaven to the devil so I will keep my closing techniques. You fellow salesman could possibly be good at YouTube at being a troll. Don't listen to this garbage.

  8. I would never go with "did I catch you in the middle of something" because then they can think of an excuse. I would ask them for help with something. Say I'm looking to speak with the person that organises training, I would ask "do you have any idea where I can find the organiser of training?" If it's them then haha we both laugh and start a conversation, if not then they tell me where to go and I say to the new person "Hi, this person told me to get in touch with you regarding this, knocking down their defensive barrier at the start". Another great start is "I'm calling you because… (slight pause) if you don't ask you don't get. So I'll ask" People seem to eat that up.

  9. Sadly I start with the how are you? but am changing that and i do that one with my friends on Facebook. On the Are you the decision maker, would it be better to tell the person on the phone I would like to talk to the person in charge. These videos are interesting.

  10. Mark, I actually used the "did I catch you in the middle of something?" Combined with "give me 60 seconds to explain and if you're still not interested, feel free to hang up, fair enough?" And so far its actually allowing me to keep customers on the phone longer. I just started selling Medicare supplements so I'm still in the process of building my pipeline but so far I think your techniques are solid and so far definitely work from what I've seen.

  11. He's dead on. And I've known for years my sales manager is soooo "old school" and you confirmed my suspicions.It made me laugh.

  12. This is really interesting stuff. I'm getting ready to start my new career as a Business-to-Business sales person with Aflac. I know I am going to face so many challenges with this new adventure I am taking, but it is one I am really passionate about, having been in a situation where I needed some medical service but didn't have the deductible to pay for my half of what "major medical" was providing. Now, my job will be to approach business owners and get them to sit down with me for 5 – 10 minutes to show what my product and services can do for their employees and they can also help their company. I was working for a mattress retailer, and I'm not going to lie… in their sales training, everyone of these questions are questions they want you to ask people when they walk in the store and I am going to agree with Mark, they just make me feel so dirty when I do. The one I hate the most is "What do I need to do to make you buy right now?" I hate this questions, but the company I was working for was paying mystery shoppers to make sure that before the customer walks, we asked this last ditch question. Talk about talking all the confidence out of your sales approach. Personally, if you have not closed your prospect by the time you get to this question, you're not going to close them at all. This has been a very informative video. Thanks, Mark!!!

  13. As someone who has just started in sales and is relying quite heavily on the techniques I'm being taught from the company, it amazes me how much of the 'tips' are actually ruining my sales. I want more than anything to be successful at this job but I just don't feel right using the tricks that the company is pushing, I feel like I'll be much more successful using his tips and suggestions. Thanks Marc for the great video!

  14. "How are you doin" wouldnt be a filler question, if after you asked you actually waited for them to answer…instead of how u doin blah blah blah

  15. If linking to your website and/or Ebook is something that I can possibly earn the right to do, I'd love to know your criteria.

  16. Thanks for posting the great advice. My favorite question to avoid is,"how are you doing?" You're right, it's dull and a turn-off for clients and everybody else

  17. "I want to hear from you" is number 6? Wait, no, lol. Cool video. Actually if someone tells me seemingly genuinely "can I pick your brain" I'd be like "sure, go ahead!" But I'm not used to hear it and brains matters to me so. Good to know it's actually a turn off for most…

  18. Just loved your tips. Being a retail salesperson I often ask these question "How are you?" I will definitely avoid this question from now on.

  19. "Is that something that you might be interested in?"

    "Would you like to take some time to think about it?"

    "Will you be taking the dance classes alone or do you already have a partner?"

    "Would you like to speak to my manager so he can start you on the paperwork?"

    "Do you have a minute to talk right now?"

    "When would you like to come in for an appointment?"

    "Would you like to shop our competition first?"

    "We're really busy at the moment. Could you possibly come back a little later?"

  20. I have used a variation of one of these. Im doing door to door sales and find myself asking the customer, "I can just ask you a few questions and give you our price, if you're interested?"

    I not only give the prospect an out, I create the objections for them.

    I'm fairly introverted and even walking up to a door made me nervous at the beginning, now I just have problems closing, but some of the objections I deal with are still self created.

    I don't seem to pull out an application unless I have the customer dead set to take the product I offer them.

  21. I tried last 2 question and it’s destroyed my whole presentation with a big corporate mangers and they react on me that i was a chiled company

  22. I have to chuckle at this… He talks about "old school" being replaced by "new school". I have been in business (my own business) for 35 years and right from the start, we were selling our services by doing lots of RESEARCH on our targets, identifying their challenges, and then showing how we could provide solutions. To us it was common sense… we certainly did not have to rely on a glib-talking greasy youtuber for what should be blindingly obvious.

  23. I have been teaching for years NOT to ask "How Are You?" This question tells the customer that a sales person is on the phone and the walls go up and they are only thinking about how to get off of the phone. Instead I like to start the conversation with "Good Day To You!" and usually get a return "Well Good Day to You Too". I get far more positive responses from the prospects this way.

  24. This is why his still not a millionaire. His just making the lines just worst with his explanations. No offense bro. How are u? Is good but with follow up. Im (name) at ur service what can i do for u? Because before they enter ur store they already knew what they want or somehow what they want. They just need a formal introduction, not waiting some time to sneak up at their backs like they are as ignorant as fuck. Dont be a creep.

    Can i pick ur brain. That just plain stupid and also ur explanations sucks at it. U already knew that they want something why ask them shitty questions.

    Would u be interested if? Thats just plain stupid if u ask them ur just giving them some offers to manipulate the sales person. Rather give them options that the company offers dont go to the manager because the customer want a discount. Just show him/her another alternative rather than giving away shit discount.

    Are u the decision maker? Who cares if im the decision maker or not. Im still the buyer. Just drop this question but rather ask them are u willing to pay the price for the that will surely give u a better result.? Give them an urge to make them feel certain of what they are buying.

    Lastly, what can a tell u at this point, to buy my product. Ur just making an excuse to close the deal as fast a u can. A lazy person will do that. Its not an act of begging but rather a retreat of actions. Drop that shit question. By the way the more u explain the more shitty it gets.

  25. Totally disagree with you. Cliche? Did I catch you in the middle of something? Yes, go away! If I ask how their day is going, I will get their state of mind now. Just like complementing their kids never stops working.

  26. This video is not bad, would be much more valuable and helpful if examples were shown on what questions CAN you say or ask instead to help you achieve better. Now I'm just clueless what to say to a new prospect.

  27. The whole concept of do's and don'ts really isn't what a salesman needs to know. It's the fundamental concept of a sale. You have to be genuine. If you're sincere in how you speak, it really doesn't matter what you say, the customer will understand you're integrity and intent. They overlook the phrase faster than some slick dick like Mark, who uses condescending tones and control as his guide. I'm the highest producing salesperson in over 22 years at my company of 160 employees, and I never, ever attempt to close a sale once, and I have no training but those 22 years of experience. I never ask for the sale, ever. I'm routinely number 1 in sales, every week, and set the example for the sales team, shoulder to shoulder. The best salespeople I have, never were salespeople. The highest turnover I have, are experienced salespeople that cannot produce, who from corporate seminars that misled them with nonsense of do's and don'ts. Again, never close, never pressure, and don't fake your job. Understand your product/service thoroughly, be honest, and work hard. Keep your promises, put it in writing, and LET THE CUSTOMER CLOSE HIMSELF WHEN HE'S READY. When you follow up, never ask for a thing, instead from the conversation you had about his life, his business, his goals, and became familiar with him professionally and personally, FILL HIS NEEDS with offering him what YOU CAN DO for his company, that is within your power. Continue to follow up periodically, without asking from him, anything. He will never forget you. You will be the ONLY salesman he ever spoke to that is honorable, worthy of referrals, and repeat business, time and again. We are what others call millionaires. I still drive a 1999 Yukon, because I'm not pretentious or arrogant. I don't need to buy a $2000 suit to prove my image or self worth. Customers don't want to know I'm wealthy. Employees don't want to see it flaunted in their face. Why test a person with envy, or reduce myself with vanity? Most of all, I don't go online with a channel to sell beginners anything. Either you have it, or you don't. Mark is a pseudo sales trainer that may have some measure of success, but clearly he's changed his hat to sell you instead of staying in the sales game. His information isn't worth a penny with what works for me. I gave my knowledge away, for free, because it shouldn't be sold. The nature of a man, is what the customer senses more than what question he was asked. Get it yet? When I ask "How are you today", they know I mean it. Learn who your customer is, before you talk about your wares, and you sold yourself. No one buys from a person they do not trust. What I sell costs six figures and I do it several times a day, never meeting them face to face. Your training is over. Talk to your customer like he's your best friend, be completely honest with him, sincere in everything, and never hide the truth from him. He will respect you and only deal with you, for decades.

  28. Did I catch you in the middle of something? Yes, I was about to masturbate to midget bestiality bondage porn. Sorry for the greasy handshake.

    1: How are you?
    2: hey can I pick your brain?
    3: would you be interested ?
    4:are you the decision maker
    5:What can I tell you at this point that will make you want to buy?

  30. ''did i catch you in the middle of something?'' customer: ''yes you have, im busy right now…call me back later..1pm..thanks bye''?
    or you could say…

    '' Hi..This is SO and So calling from So and So's office, SO AND SO has personally asked me to give you a call, Now i know you might be busy right now so I wont take much of your time….But whats landed on my desk today is something which I wholeheartedly believe will be beneficial to your company ..Let me just ask you one question….(ask an open obvious question which customer will of course answer yes to) followed by another ……etc etc. you get the deal

  31. Every spam phone call in South Africa starts with "How are you?" It's a brilliant spam filter actually, because you immediately know to hit the kill button

  32. I like this Mark. The only question I have is concerning question number two. I am selling retail businesses back-office systems. Sometimes those offices are hard to research.

  33. I think "how are you doing today?" is an extremely important thing to ask. It shows that you have at least a slight concern with their emotions and says they are important without actually saying it.

  34. I took this advice and stopped asking "How are you?". I replaced it with "Yo dude!" and my sales quadrupled. My favourite opener is "Hi mate. How's your bum for spots?". It really throws them, especially the women. Another good one is to frown, wave your hand about and ask "Phew, have you just farted?". It breaks the ice and always brings a smile to their face. Admittedly, I've never got onto a second question with any of these openers, but I believe that persistence pays off, so I shall continue to plough my own idiosycratic furrow until I succeed. And I will never again ask anyone how they are.

  35. how to stay to the point with a chatty client? Keeping me there longer than needed. in a one close sales call, I sell pre-need cremations and funerals, majority of older folks some keep me there over 3 hours, my commission not extremely high.

  36. People do not want to be sold, but they do want to buy.

    Also, to discover what people really want requires a method other than a direct question, because, to put it quite simply, people do not know what they want.

    Great video!

  37. 1st question: hey did you see the up dog? What’s updog? Not much, what’s up with you?
    2nd question: how about that Beedahaps? What’s beedahaps? Not much, what be da haps with you?
    3rd Question: who else involved in this project and the decision?

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  39. the free ebook download didn't work after several tries. It takes me to a pitch for class. I have reported to youtube.

  40. In the retail setting, always walk up to a customer and say the words, “what do we got goin’ on today?” I’ve been working at a paint store for about two years now… And it works like a charm. Less than 1% of the time do you get any crass or sarcastic responses from it. About the only thing I get very rarely are stupid little sexual innuendos about what a guys going to be doing with his wife later on. But that maybe happens twice a year. So it’s more than tolerable. Give it a try. You’ll be amazed at the results!

  41. 1. Go straight to who you are, get in there, be you
    2. Let's figure it out
    3. Go straight for a second contact, or if you are at the stage of an offer, well, just offer
    4. This is tricky but it is part of the negotiation process
    5. This is bizarre so anyways you can go ahead and ask for a credit card

  42. I think it's so sad that most people who ask, "how are you doing?" Genuinely don't give a crap about how the other is doing. But what's even sadder to me is that most people believe that generally anyone who asks "how are you doing today?" Is just using it as a filler and dont give a shit so theres no point in saying anything other than "fine what do you want" lol. I know that there are still people in the world and still marketers, who actually do genuinely care how the other person is doing when they ask that question. Regardless of if they are strangers or close friends. I know this because I am one of those people, I am one of those marketers. And if I don't have time to listen to how some one is doing, I instead say that I hope they are doing well today. Because I truly do and I guarantee many others do to. Even though most people believe that the question no longer has any meaning

  43. This is good information. In the food industry asking for the decision maker is something being taught. I always thought it was a bad idea but couldn’t understand why. Thanks for the clarity.

  44. Good news for mark: I subscribed. Bad news: I had to give this a thumbs down! Here's why. I disagree at least on some level with 3 of these criticisms. First of all, "how are you?" Is actually totally legit!! I've been studying that exact line for a couple of years now, making hundreds of cold calls every week, and it's all good as long as other factors are present. If you ask this with positive energy, you'll actually get an enthusiastic reply. And worse case scenario, it's still very polite! Moreover, yes, it's a time filler. But there aren't many time fillers out there, and while it might not be the special sauce, I don't think it deserves to be at the top of this list. Secondly, "are you the decision maker?" Totally depends on what part of the conversation you ask it. Think about it — if you ask this, in context, honestly, to a friend, they'll tell you! When you've achieved 100% rapport with a customer, you can really ask them anything. If used without building rapport, it might be a bad line, but it's not automatically a bad question. As far as "would you be interested?" Why not? I'd like to hear what you think I might be interested in. Once again, not the best line, but at least legal. I think much more important than focusing on what not to say is simply how and when you say things.

  45. Hi. What's is your dogs name?

    He was called Brian. He died last week when i got distracted by a cold caller and he ran out the open door and was hit by a car…


  46. As soon as I hear a stranger ask me on the phone 'are you ok?' I instinctively know it's a sales call and I switch off, even if I am interested in the product. It's a lazy opener which I dislike.

  47. This guy is trash. If these questions aren’t helping you then it’s not the words you’re saying. It’s precisely how you are saying them. It’s the response to the prospects answer that matters. Not the question. Sorry bruh, but you don’t know shit about how to sell. And you dress like shit

  48. That's funny about the "can I pick your brain?"😂 question. I never used it and never will. It's a dumb phrase. I also never used " what can I do to get you to buy?" I agree with Marc, it's a high pressure "put-you-in-a-corner" ass of a question.

  49. these videos are a waste of time. you don't have to talk so much fillers, just make a short video on what those 5 stupid sales qns are.

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