When it comes telesales and telemarketing tips about asking probing questions, disagreements arise on which is more effective - open-ended questions or close-ended questions. Each actually has its own merit. What's important is, no matter what type of questions you ask, you have to be skillful enough on how to follow up your questions. This is one of the most important qualities of a telesales professional.

This article focuses on open-ended questions and looks at ways to enhance your telesales questioning techniques using open questions.

To start with, you have to know the Who, What, When, Where, How and Why and the right time to ask such questions.

Care should be taken when asking "why" questions. Some people just don't feel comfortable being asked "why" because they feel as if they are being probed. They react to this by putting up their defenses and withdraw from the communication that you try to establish.

How about the tone that you use? If your tone is flat, it will make your sentences unpalatable and boring. Some people have the tendency to talk in a rising tone which can be annoying. This is often described as "teenage talk" as teenagers are often heard using rising tones in everyday chatting.

Rising tones put different meaning to the words that you say and it may convey a different meaning from what you really meant especially when it comes to telesales and telemarketing.

So what is the best tone to use? A combination of a falling and rising tone should be effective. A falling tone signifies command and authority while a rising tone signifies an inquiry. Start your statement with a falling tone and end it with a rising tone to create some impact.

Use a falling tone or rising tone to manipulate your questioning and condition the mind of your telesales prospect. If you want your customer to do something for you, use the falling tone. For example, the statement "Shall we go ahead and have this product shipped to you overnight then?" is formed as a question but subconsciously the telesales prospect is taking it as a command.

To make your questions sound interesting without making you an interrogator, raise your tone just enough to engage your telesales customer.

Apply the concept of pre-conditioning the thoughts of your telesales prospect in such a way that will make them agreeable to your offering. You can achieve this by designing your line of questioning that leads you closer to the sale. The words and phrases that you use help a lot in influencing the customer's mind to make a buying decision.

Pre-conditioning works by forming an image in the prospect's mind on what is coming to make him ready for the sale that you are driving at.

Source: Heinrich Churchill link