Dead End Questions

Understand Your Buyer > How to Engage  > Dead End Questions

What is it?

When speaking with a potential client and qualifying them, asking questions you (think you) already know the answer to can help you to qualify, make your point or demonstrate understanding.

Why does it work?

To show this in action, let’s use an example:

For my own Clear Sales Message™  business, I prefer to work with larger businesses who have a marketing team / marketing manager. If I’m speaking with a smaller business, I can ask “tell me about your marketing team” or “who’s your marketing manager?” knowing that the answer is probably that they don’t have one. By asking such a dead end question, I illustrate to the person that the fact that they don’t have one may mean they are not a right fit to work with me.

Dead end questions work because we’re using them to polarize our audience and find those who we can work with, by asking essential questions and giving them the benefit of the doubt rather than being too direct or even rude ” We only work with…”


How can you use it?

This works best when qualifying clients.

To be clear, this isn’t about being rude or embarrassing people – but it is about making sure you have the facts and also eliminating any assumptions you may have made – such as the client is “too small” to deal with you.

  • Ask if they have something (that they probably don’t)
  • Ask when was the last time they did XYZ (Knowing they have probably never done it)
  • Ask about a problem that is “too big” for them to actually have.

Any question you can ask that will help qualify the client works – this is about ensuring we give the client the benefit of the doubt and the respect they deserve, whilst being clear on the scope of our offering.


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