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Why Ask Questions?

June 2nd, 2014
The ability to ask questions and to qualify are two core competencies in sales. In Dan Pink’s Book ‘To Sell is Human” he states:

“In the New World of Sales, being able to ask the right questions is more valuable than producing the right answers.” Pink. To Sell is Human. Riverhead. 2012 p 147

Whether you target businesses or consumers in your industry, you need questioning abilities to connect and to engage your customers. I agree with Dan Pink when he says “we are all in sales”.

On this site, you will find references to a new book “The Art of the Q.” I wrote this because I passionately believe that questions and qualification (a sequence of questions) will help you to save time.  Further, my experience is that people who ask the right questions make more money! Why?

Questions help you understand the needs and wants of your customers.

Questions help you counsel buyers to identify and to remove obstacles that stand in the way of your success.

The difference between “The Art of the Q” and other books is that it is based on 17 actual case studies with real life examples. You get actual questions stripped from high performing sales people that you can immediately use in your day to day business life. If you want to download “The Art of the Q”, it is available in e-book ( | Barnes and Noble). A print version is coming soon.

You probably use questions now. My hope is that you have the desire to hone these skills to become an expert in communications. I hope you will also share YOUR questions (and answers) with me at facebook/salestrainer4U!

Thank you,

Charlie Van Hecke


Journal Entry #1: Jail Re-entry Program

June 28th, 2011

The students are inmates and are preparing to come back into society. An innovative program leader has sought facilitators and I volunteered. We have been warned what to do in hostage situations and put through an orientation advising us not to divulge personal information. We have also been told that some inmates will try to get you to smuggle items in and out of the prison.

The program leader asked for a syllabus and my first class for job seekers is about motivating yourself and others.

  1. First, we go through a motivational model with breakouts and interactive exercises. My first objective is to encourage and lift spirits.
  2. My second objective is to get the job seekers thinking about what might be appealing to employers.

When I asked if any of the inmates had a job waiting, I was pleasantly surprised to find that three out of the thirteen had a job already arranged. Each person had career direction – mostly vocational. We have an electrician, a carpenter, a truck driver, a plumber and a heating / air conditioning man. Yes, my class is all male and most of the students range in age from 21-45.

In a discussion of intrinsic motivation, the truck driver spoke up about travel, meeting new people and the beauty of America. Other topics included communication, logic and problem solving. We ended with a Personal Qualities survey designed to help the students pick out positive elements of their personality to emphasize with employers.

At the end of the session, I asked ‘what section did you like most?’ and the electrician said ‘problem solving.’ Several students nodded and agreed. Later I realized that they were asking me to make these topics useful and for me to show them how it will address issues in their world. As the students were leaving, one person lingered. A young African American – the heating and air conditioning guy! He said ‘It’s hard to have a positive attitude.’ A few years ago I would have come back with a cliché or some idea related to attitude. Now, I simply replied ‘I know.’

As the Program Leader and I were leaving the jail, we went through seven sets of locked doors – all watched by video surveillance. I had to take my white board marker because inmates steal them and sell the ink for tattoos. This is going to be different!


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Journal Entries from Pro Bono Sales Coach Charlie Van Hecke.
Charlie volunteers to help Business Owners, Job Seekers, Veterans and 2nd Chance Citizens cope with change using positive sales psychology and skill infusion.


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