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Just Ask

Knowing the right questions to ask can be as powerful as any sales technique.

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This story appears in the July 2000 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Study the most successful salespeople and entrepreneurs in the world, and you'll quickly discover their secret: They learn with their minds and sell with their hearts. They go into each sale with a clear objective and ask that move them naturally in that direction. They have no need for clever acronyms or techniques (which are almost always more confusing than convincing). They simply ask whatever will get them closest to their objective.

The best way to emulate these successful salespeople is to sell from the heart: by asking questions in an easy, conversational style that lets prospects know they're being listened to. Exactly what and how you ask is up to you. Just remember, questions can help you get the sale in three important ways:

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