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The Best Sales Question

Back in 2014, I was crap at selling my video services.

This was for a few reasons:

  • I did all the talking.
  • I was always trying to convince people.
  • I put the lead on the defensive (by asking about the budget within minutes).

After many meetings that led to nothing…

And prospects ghosting me…

I decided to get clued up on sales.

That’s when I came across this Zig Ziglar quote:

“You can have everything in life you want, if you just help other people get what they want.”

That one simple sentence changed the game for me.

I switched from talking to listening…

From convincing to understanding… 

And from asking about the budget to asking about the desired results.

And that leads us into the point of today’s email.

I want to arm you with the best question you can open a sales meeting with.

Here goes:

“What needs to happen to make this project a success?”

So simple, yet so effective.


Because the prospect will tell you exactly what results they want in their own words.

Once they start talking, you start taking notes.

Then you act like a 4 year old and keep asking, ‘Why?’

Do that a few times, and you will have uncovered their true wants and needs.

This is so powerful.

Because when you come to pitch your services…

You can repeat back to them the results you’ll help them achieve – in their own words.

It’s like music to their ears.

Now you can provide the greatest value to the client, because you understand what matters to them.

And your pricing can reflect that value.


In lockdown, I got an enquiry from an engineering firm.

Here’s how the convo went:

Client: Hi Garth, we need a corporate video.

Me: Okay, why is that?

Client: To show our clients what we do.

Me: Let’s say it’s 3 months from now, and we’ve made a corporate video. What needs to happen to make it a success?

Client: Well, because of Covid, we can no longer do site visits with our prospects. I’m worried that if we can’t show them around, they’ll think we don’t have the capabilities to service them. So to be a success, we need a video that shows off our facilities and skillsets.

Me: Why do you think it needs to be done by a production company?

Client: Perceptions matter. We’re targeting the likes of the Navy and Rolls Royce. Doing it on a phone won’t do. They need to know we’re not a tin pot outfit.

Me: Why would they think you’re a tin pot outfit?

Client: Our facility surprises our clients, because they often think we’re working out of a porta cabin near Manchester.

Me: So it’s about showing off your facilities and capabilities in a premium way?

Client: Exactly.

Me: And how will you use the video?

Client: We’ll send it to the prospective client before a virtual meeting to warm them up to our offering. It’ll also sit on our homepage.

Etc etc.

Can you see how much info I uncovered?

I know the motivation for the project, what we need to get across, and what channels I need to optimise the video for.

And because he’s mentioned ‘perception’ and ‘premium,’ I know that he’s not looking for a cheap and quick solution. He wants it done right.

So I can charge accordingly.

Anyway, that’s enough from me for this week.

Bottom line:

Help other people get what they want…

So you can get what you want.

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