Don’t Ask If – Ask Which . . . How to Turn a NO Into a YES! - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

Don’t Ask If – Ask Which!

(Wheelerpoint 4)

You can catch more fish with hooks than with crow bars.

The main problem is business though is this . . . at least 96.7% of people use crowbars to try and catch their fish (new customers) instead of using the correct hook combined with the right bait.

By “DON’T ASK IF – ASK WHICH” I mean you should always frame your words (especially at the close) so you can give your prospect a choice between something and something, never between SOMETHING and NOTHING.

You will find a sale moving more swiftly to a successful close if you ask leading questions, as a good lawyer does, making it easy and natural for your prospect to say “Yes.”

There are two kinds of salespeople, those who throw huge exclamation marks at you as they talk and those who hook your interest tactfully with question marks. Being a Question-Mark instead of an Exclamation-Mark salesman is the fourth difference between a winner and a loser in salesmanship.

The Value of The Word “Which”

The Exclamation-Mark salesman clubs his prospects with his pet ideas – and they flee out the nearest exit! He/she is always using such words as:

“I’m positive …. !”

“I KNOW I’m right …. “

“You MUST …. “

He/she points their finger, he/she pounds the counter, he/she sticks out their chin . . . however he/she never asks the prospect a diplomatic question to find out if his/her sales talk is going over.

Hook the long curved arm of a question mark around your prospects and customers, and you will draw them nearer to the cash register or the dotted line – however be SURE you ask them questions which get the answers you want!

Never ask the prospect IF he/she wants to buy – ask . . . WHEN, WHAT, WHERE, and HOW! Not if – ask ‘which’!

These 6 Questions Won’t Get The Replies You Want

1. “Could you afford the better-priced one?”

2. “Would you be interested in the dusting kit?”

3. “Would you like me to explain this feature to you?”

4. “Shall I demonstrate this to you?”

5. “How about it?”

6. “Howya fixed for a … ?”

Don’t be a “How-about-it?” salesman, or a “How-ya-fixed-for-it?” salesman. These are bad expressions to acquire. Eliminate them from your sales vocabulary.

They have grown “whiskers,” and they lack “punch,”. They are not only “baggy in the knees” with a “shine in their seats,”  . . . they have grown “long beards.”

Avoid them!

These 7 Questions Get The Answers You Want

1. “You perhaps are wondering what Positive Agitation is, aren’t you?”

2. “You like this feature, don’t you?”

3. “That’s neat, isn’t it?”

4. “Which of these do you prefer?”

5. “When would you like delivery?”

6. “How do you prefer paying, weekly or monthly?”

7. “Where do you plan using it, here or over there?”

Ask the RIGHT question, especially in the close, and you’ll get the answer you want – and the order will follow quickly.

Tested Questions Revive Wavering Sales

Whenever you feel the sale wavering, ASK A TESTED QUESTION – one which will start you off on a new tack. A question gives you a breathing spell while the prospect is answering it.

The question mark is also a good method of bringing objections into the open.

The technique is very simple to acquire. Whenever the prospect is wavering and tells you some reason for not buying . . . ASK THEM WHY.

“Why?” is the hardest one word for a prospect to answer!

Your prospect will struggle to answer your “why.”

They will find it difficult to put their objection into suitable words. Their vague, distant, hidden objection is often so imaginary it CAN’T be framed in words.

For instance, observe this example:

NELLIE: “I’ll think it over.”


NELLIE: “Well – I – it just seems best.”

By using this rule of “Why” you gradually bring out all the objections of  the prospect. Soon all the questions seem answered – but still the prospect won’t buy.

ONE KEY OBJECTION still worries your prospect.

What is it?

Cost? Weight? Construction? Practicality? Can’t realize the need? Feels another has better features?


Ask him/her, “Why do you hesitate? – Why do you believe it is too costly? – Why do you want to wait until fall?” Keep him/her answering your “whys” until you find the REAL objection.

Then when YOU ARE SURE you have discovered the real objection, handle it with this “tested technique”:

SALESMAN: “Is that your ONLY REASON for not buying?”

NELLIE: “Yes, that’s my only reason for not buying.”

Nellie has committed herself! She is behind ONE objection! Now ANSWER this key objection, and the sale will soon be yours!

When you do answer the objection, be sure to say: “You told me that was your ONLY REASON for not buying – so now I imagine you are ready to have me make a delivery!”

Summary of Wheelerpoint 4


Learn the legal knack of asking LEADING QUESTIONS, especially in the close, that get you the answers YOU want.


Never take a chance and ask a question unless you KNOW the reply it will get you.


Be a good lawyer – use leading questions and practice the rule of “Why.”


Bring these “bogeymen” objections into the daylight with leading questions – and watch the bogeymen melt away like shadows!


Whenever you feel the sale wavering, practice Wheelerpoint 4, and ask a question – but don’t ask IF – ask WHICH! Ask WHEN and WHERE and HOW!

Then if you apply the 5th and final Wheelerpoint and watch HOW you say it as well as WHAT you say, as suggested on the next article . . . you will be master of most sales presentations which you make.

Remember . . . you can catch more fish with hooks than with crow bars.

“Dedicated to kicking your ass until you succeed.”


Trevor ‘ToeCracker’ Crook
PS. The 5th and final Wheelerpoint is on: Watch Your Bark! Be sure to watch for it!

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7 Responses to Don’t Ask If – Ask Which . . . How to Turn a NO Into a YES!

  • Anonymous says:

    How do you ethically justify manipulating people for personal gain?

    Very simply, it’s not manipulation and a naysayer like you wouldn’t understand.

  • Ripe says:

    Never ask any questions. Tell them what to do. Dominate. Destroy. Conquer. Steal. For America. Don’t please, screw.

  • anon says:

    You use bolds, italics, and caps sloppily.

    Also, please give up writing.

    Mate, it’s my blog and I do what I like, when I like and say what I like and especially ignore people who are totally clueless about how to use words to ignite sales. – ToeCracker

  • Have you ever read Frank Bettgers book? This is more or less exactly what he writes in chapters 9-11, just rewritten. Not that there’s anything wrong in reiterating great practices, but if it’s based upon mr. Bettgers book, a mention of the source would be nice.

    Hi Mark, Never heard of him as this is from a book I onw the rights too and one done based on a 10 year word study from 1937 to 1947 so it’s got nothing to do with Frank’s book. Secondly throughout the 5 wheelerpoints, I make referenced to the source, being Elmer Wheeler. Perhaps Frank has taken words from Elmer and adjusted them for himself?

  • Asking a customer to choose between “something” and “something” is always a good practice. It is difficult for many sales people to remember because that is not the way they speak in their non-business or non-sales converstion. Also, many sales people get so caught up in promoting the features of their product that they forget about everything else.

    • Nicky says:

      [b]I think the nail was hit with the comments I have seen where merbems of traffic exchanges are blindly clicking and they click and click just to get credits. They do not even look at the sites. Here’s the question: How can we get surfers to actually look at the sites? What can we do to be unique? The concept of a traffic exchange would work nicely if everyone participated as was meant to be. But most do not. Also, another problem I see in exchanges is those generic splash pages or sales pages that everyone else is promoting. I think one thing that would help make sales on traffic exchanges is if merbems would actually work on creating their own unique splash pages. If you don’t know how to make a splash page then join a site like TE Toolbox where you can get assistance with creating a splash page. Here’s one idea: Let’s say you have a website where you have lot’s of electronics for sale and you simply go to all your exchanges and put your homepage in for rotation in the exchanges then you go click, click, click and no sales. One reason for this might be because there are 25 different products listed on your homepage and there’s no way surfers will see all those products in 10 seconds. Try creating a splash page with just one item on it. That way other surfers will be more likely to see the product.Most people are mislead to think that all you gotta do is get a website and put it in the exchanges and you will be rich tomorrow. It doesn’t work that way. It takes a lot of work and I don’t mean clicking. I mean trying to stand out from the crowd. Trying to create your own splash pages and banners, making your site or product get noticed. I am a traffic exchange owner myself and I know I’ve spent a lot of time working with it to make it unique. I still spend time trying to make it different. I work an 8 hour job plus I come home and invest another 8 hours or more on my site. And you must be able to spend a little money towards your site. If you think you can make money online without spending any then your are wrong. Best advice is to spend your money wisely. Make sure what you are purchasing will be to your benefit. I purchase upgraded accounts at some exchanges but not all. Depends on what they offer me and how much it’s going to cost.Upgraded accounts means less clicking and more time to spend on your site design or promotional material. But just remember one thing: working online is not easy and it takes more than just slapping up a website and showing it in exchanges. You got to be different from everyone else. Just my 2 cents.[/b]

  • Kathy says:

    Thank you for this Trevor. I’m enjoying the series. Do you agree with the practice of repeating the customer’s question before adding the answer?

    Nellie: I’m not sure if I can justify spending this money on xyz.

    You: You’re not sure ….. on xyz? Can you really stay happy with streaky windows from the product you are now using / your child having asthma due to the chemicals in your home etc.

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