Effective Sales Questions: Don’t Be a Registration Card

In the world of real estate sales, discovery is the most basic of skills. And yet so often the discovery is just lame. What makes it lame? Typically, it’s the sameness of it all. It’s the same questions that get asked over and over again until you yourself are sick of the questions. If you want to be more effective at sales questioning, here’s my advice. Don’t be a registration card.

You know the questions. Every industry has them but here they are for real estate sales. How many bedrooms are you looking for? What’s your timeframe? One or two stories? Do you have a home to sell? Are you working with a realtor? 

Is this the best we can do in our discovery? I think not. To illustrate my concern, if you’re working in the world of new home sales, you know all about the ubiquitous registration card. I know more and more we’re seeing it move to an iPad, but it does the same thing. We’re asking the customer to fill out a registration card and give us information about their situation.

I’m going to ask you to pick up a reg card or look at the iPad and be able to analyze the questions that you see there. Do you see those questions on the iPad? Don’t ask those questions! Let the registration card ask those questions. My advice to you, sales professional, is don’t be a registration card. Stop asking questions that could be easily filled out on a form.

To me, the questions that a salesperson asks are like the paintbrush in the hands of an artist. You have to use those questions skillfully. Keep in mind, of course, that you only get so many questions that you can ask before it starts to get a little bit obnoxious. It turns from a sales presentation into an interrogation. 

If you’re going to be limited in the questions that you can ask, stop asking questions that are already on the registration card. What questions should you be asking? We need to be asking questions about the customer’s life, their mission, their family, their joys, and their disappointments. We need to ask questions that would prove that we take a supreme concern in the customer’s life.

Look, anyone can ask a bedroom count question. But when you do that, you’re getting a very limited amount of information compared to what you could get if you were asking a motivation question. Anyone can ask about their timing. But that’s going to limit you as to what you can do next compared to what you would discover if you learn what’s not working in your home right now? What’s the urgency for you to move in the first place?

We should be finely crafting our questions. You should know the reason behind every question that you ask. You should be able to defend that question against your strategy. Ultimately our goal here is not to ask questions. Our goal here is to get such a deep understanding of the customer that the sale begins to roll out right in front of you.

Here’s my suggestion. Record your presentation. Play it back afterward and ask yourself the question, how strategic am I in my questioning pattern? Am I asking these questions out of tradition or out of strategy? Am I asking the questions because they’re in the customer’s best interest? Or am I asking the questions because this is what I’ve always done?

The best sales professionals in this industry and any industry are the ones who are passionate about the questions that they’re going to ask. Think like an artist. Think like someone who absolutely has to know what’s going on in their customer’s life. You can learn more about asking better questions at the 4:2 Formula® Academy.

That’s my three-day program designed to take you through the most proven sales structure in the industry. We roll up our sleeves and learn to ask better questions so that we can sell the way that a buyer wants to buy.

Until next time, my friends, learn more to earn more.


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About the Author: Jeff Shore

Jeff Shore is the Founder and President of Shore Consulting, Inc. a company specializing in field-tested and proven consumer psychology-based sales training programs.

Jeff is a top-selling author, host of the popular sales podcast, The Buyer’s Mind, and an award-winning keynote speaker. He holds the prestigious Certified Speaking Professional designation from the National Speakers Association and is a member of the NSA’s exclusive Million Dollar Speaker’s Group.

With over 30 years of real-world, frontline experience, Jeff’s advanced sales strategies spring from extensive research into the psychology of buying and selling. He teaches salespeople how to climb inside the mind of their customers to sell the way their buyers want to buy. Using these modern, game-changing techniques, Jeff Shore’s clients generated over $30 billion in sales last year.