Can you answer your customers toughest questions?

Can you answer your customers toughest questions?

 12 Mar 2018

Strategies for Answering Your 

Customers’ Toughest Questions


Tough questions from sceptical customers, can derail a sale quickly. If you don't have a strategy for answering them or the tools to satisfy your customer, you can wave bye bye to that sale and bonus.

Steve Martin at the Harvard Business Review, has some of the following thoughts on how to stay on track. You can find his article here

What are you actually answering?

Clarify the question first, Steve suggests that customers are basically asking two types of questions:

  1. Specific enquiries about a feature or issue
  2. A general question about a broader topic, or your opinion

Demonstrate your domain expertise

Here Steve says, that having an extensive knowledge of your industry, company and products and how they compare against the competition will remove any and all fear of tough questioning.

Does everyone understand?

In a group call / meeting situation, it is dangerous to understand that everyone understands the answers to your question. Steve suggests giving some background information to make sure everyone is on the same page.

Be the Expert POV

A trusted consultant who has intimate knowledge of the industry, trumps an ordinary salesperson. In his article Steve says that your ideal goal is to become your clients trusted advisor, listening intently so that you can apply your expertise to solve your customers business problem

Redirect unfair questions

“The question you should really be asking is…” should prevent you from getting flustered when asked inappropriate or unfair questions.

Respond with metaphors.

Information is best passed on through stories and analogies. Steve is right when he says that

“Metaphors enable complex concepts and theories to be explained in an understandable, interesting, and persuasive manner. The most important metaphors are examples about the customers that are successfully using your products and services. Instead of barraging the customer with point-by-point facts and figures, structure your answer in a logical way using an existing customer’s impactful storyline.”

Demeanour and body language

A large part of communication is nonverbal, stay calm, don’t get defensive and speak confidently


Steve. W. Martin wrote his article for the Harvard Business Review, you can find the full article here


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