Problem questions aim to explore problems, difficulties and dissatisfactions that your customer is experiencing with an //existing// situation. They are essential to make the sale because:
* People only buy if they have needs
* Needs almost always ''start with a problem, difficulty or dissatisfaction''
* The clearer and more explicit the need, the more likely the buyer is to buy.

The power in problem questions is to:
* //''reveal''// the buyers [[Implied Need]]s
* //''clarify''// the buyers difficulties and dissatisfations
* //''Gain shared understanding''// of the buyers problems
Most essential you need to ''uncover problems'' that you can solve so you can offer something useful to the buyer.
Asking about ''problems, difficulties or dissatisfactions'' that the buyer is experiencing with the existing situation
* //What makes this operation difficult?//
* //Which parts of the system create errors?//
* //How satisfied are you with your present system/suppliers?//
* //What prevents you from achieving that objective?//
* //What problems are you experiencing in this area?//
* ''//How long does it take//'' for your current service provider to respond when you have a breakdown
More powerful than [[Situational Questions]]. People ask more problem questions if they get experienced at selling
!High and low risk areas
High risk:
# Sensitive areas, where the buyer has a personal involvement
# Recent major decisions, when probing may be seen as presumpuous or critical or where your questions might build resistance against your product.
# Your own product or service, where the buyer already uses your product and asking the problem questions may create/trigger dissatisfaction.
Low risk
# Early in the selling sale, make sure you have established a relationship and the buyer gives signs of wanting to explore together
# In significant areas, which might be important to the buyer
# When you can offer a solution.
!Practical tips
* Think of your products or services in terms the solve for buyers, not in terms of the details of characteristics that your product possesses|
* ''Do your homework first''. Prepare your problem questions well.
* ''Do use variety''. Ask problem questions directly, indirectly and through ''//linking//'' phrases
* ''Do follow up''. Ask clarifying problem questions when your buyer begins to reveal problems, dissatisfactions or difficulties.
* An important use of problem questions is //clarifying// the problems that your buyer identifies. ''//Follow-up questions//'' help you clarify [[Implied Need]]s you should focus on. Example:
** I want to be sure about which kind of [problem] you're having; could you tell me more about [problem]
** How often does [problem] happen? Do you have that trouble all the time or just once in a while?
** It sound like you are quit concerned about [problem]. Is that the issues that concerns you most?
* Asking //"Why?"// can help you:
** Better understand the reasons behind the buyers dissatisfaction
** Uncover related problems or effects
* Uncover several problems before asking an [[Implication Question]]
Mon, 20 Jun 2011 21:19:40 GMT
Mon, 20 Jun 2011 21:19:40 GMT