The #1 Selling Technique

by Charlie Cook

What’s the fundamental problem that you face in sales?

Turns out that it’s the same whether you call yourself a salesperson, business owner, graphic designer, consultant, contractor, or financial advisor.

You want to move your prospect from being slightly interested to fully convinced that your product or service is the best solution for them. You want them to make the decision to pull out their credit card or sign the contract and buy from you.

Are you successfully converting prospects to customers?

Are you closing all the sales you want?

Do you need to boost sales to make it through this downturn?

It’s not about persuading people with rational arguments about how great your products and services are. We’ve all tried that approach, and it’s like trying to move mountains.

It’s not about just giving people what they want. We’ve all learned the hard way that what a client says they want isn’t always the right solution for their problem.

The first time Tom Freese oversold his sales quota by 200 percent, everyone thought it was a fluke. When he did it again, they assumed it was just some sort of freak accident. Then, over and over for seven consecutive years, Tom not only exceeded his sales quota, he doubled it.

With more than seventeen years experience in the trenches of corporate sales and management, Tom packaged his unique approach into a proven sales methodology.

What’s Tom’s solution to the fundamental problem in sales?

Helping, not selling. When you help them find a solution, they’ll see you as a valuable ally. Start thinking of yourself as an advisor instead of as a salesperson.

I’ve used this approach successfully for 10 years now, and built my business around it.

You could start an advisory conversation by saying to your prospect, “Can I ask you a couple of questions about your business?”

Do this and you’ve instantly moved from a salesperson to someone who wants to help the prospect think about the big picture. And that’s the goal of the advisory conversation; to use questions to guide the conversation and to give your prospect new insights into the best solutions.

Remember that the sale is the outcome of the conversation. It’s the endpoint, not the beginning.

Recently my wife and I were trying to decide between two contractors to do a long-delayed renovation in our master bedroom and bath. Both are competent and came well recommended. And in this economy, both were eager to get the job.

Fred, the first contractor took measurements, listened to what my wife said she wanted and came back with a detailed estimate. The plan was exactly what she’d described to him.

The second contractor, Tony, asked us a lot of questions about what we were looking for, what our preferences and tastes are and what we really hoped to achieve with this renovation.

He came back with a plan that was nothing like what my wife and I had initially described, but it was exactly what we wanted. Even though his price was 12% more, we signed a contract with Tony.

Wouldn’t you like to be able to do the same — to close more sales and earn more money this year? You can.

What’s the benefit of using question based selling?

1. You’ll close more sales.
You’ll eliminate resistance and your prospects will sell themselves.
You’ll close higher dollar sales.
You’ll help prospects define the comprehensive solution they want instead of just selling them one service or product at a time.
You’ll increase the frequency with which your customers buy from you.
Satisfied customers are more likely to buy from you again and again.
4. You’ll generate more referrals.
When you take the time to help your customers find the best solution to their underlying problem, they’ll be far more satisfied and more likely to tell all their friends and colleagues.


  1. Door Opener Questions
  2. Diagnostic Questions
  3. Value Clarification Questions

Your Action Plan

1. Write a short list of questions to ask prospects to not only determine what your prospect wants but what they truly need. You might lead off with a general one like: Can you tell me about your business, what’s your role and what are your goals? Then get into the specific questions that will help you determine what they really need and want.

2. Use your list of questions as a guide when you talk to prospects. This may take some practice. The tendency is to slip back into your sales pitch. For example, if a prospect asks you, “How much will it cost and what will it do for me?”, deflect with, “I’d be happy to answer that. But in order to give you the right answer, I need a bit more information.” Then you can control the conversation by asking your questions.

3. Measure your results and modify accordingly. Over time you’ll find that you only need a short list of questions to get prospects talking and get them to tell you what they are looking for. Keep testing and editing your questions to maximize your conversion rates.

Apply this simple selling helping strategy and you’ll close more sales and make more money. That’s how Tom Freese doubled his own sales and you can too! With over seventeen years of corporate sales experience Tom has taken his masterful approach to selling and packaged it so companies like yours can use it to exponentially increase your bottom-line results.

Want to learn more about Question Based Selling? Start with Tom Freese’s book, “Secrets of Question Based Selling” or check out his audio tapes at If you want Tom to provide training for your company, contact him via his website.

Ever have a prospect tell you they’re not interested and feel like you’ve lost the sale? With the right questions you can easily restart the sales conversation and get them to explain their decision.

85% of the time, you’ll uncover an objection based on a false assumption that you can eliminate. And in doing so you’ll save the sale.

(VALUE: $200)
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