“The 36 Questions That Lead to Love” – a fascinating article by the New York Times , referencing Mandy Len Catron’s Modern Love essay, “To Fall In Love With Anyone Do This.”

The idea is 36 well-crafted, thought-provoking, emotional questions can cause you to fall in love with anyone. The questions are divided into three sections — each one more probing than the last – nurturing mutual vulnerability which fosters closeness. To quote the study’s authors, “One key pattern associated with the development of a close relationship among peers is sustained, escalating, reciprocal, personal self- disclosure. Allowing oneself to be vulnerable with another person can be exceedingly difficult, so this exercise forces the issue.”

I was intrigued, so I tried it with my husband. After just ten questions, we felt closer—more connected and happier. See the full list of questions here.

Why do questions help us build heartfelt connection? If 36 well-crafted questions can induce love, can 36 properly positioned questions lead to a sale?

Absolutely. Ask the right questions at the right time in the right way — and the answers will set you up for long-term success. 
The great motivator, Tony Robbins, says that the human brain is a question-answering machine. Ask lousy questions, you’ll get lousy results. Ask better questions, you’ll get better answers.

The questions we ask our customers dictate how they think…about our products, us and whether to buy right now.

THE POWER OF THE RIGHT QUESTIONS

Download the infographic: 7 Benefits of Asking More Questions here.

Your must ask questions so you can provide solutions specific to your customers’ needs — the WIFM or “What’s in it for me?” Your questions must follow a logical order—fact gathering, then deeper questions that uncover problems and emotional motivators.

Asking good questions in your Discovery — and throughout the sales process —helps you uncover buyer needs and tailor the rest of your sales presentation to those needs.

18 powerful sales discovery questions:

  1. What brings you here to meet with me today?
  2. What do you like about what you’re doing now?
  3. Can you give me more background to……
  4. Tell me about your current situation? How long, how much, when?
  5. How long has this been a problem?
  6. Would you like to change anything about your current situation?
  7. How severe is the problem?
  8. Does it affect your (work, marriage, peace of mind)?
  9. Have you used this type of product before?
  10. What would your neighbor/boss say if you purchased this?
  11. Is there anything I’ve forgotten?
  12. Tell me about the worst experience you’ve had with a salesperson?
  13. Why are you looking into this now?
  14. Why is it important to you personally to solve this problem?
  15. Are there financial costs of not moving forward?
  16. Are there emotional costs?
  17. If you could change anything you know wouldn’t be passible, what would it be?
  18. What would have to happen to make it possible?

Yesterday’s salespeople merely needed to provide information. But today, buyers can find all the information they need online. So, today’s salespeople must interpret that information, ask questions, then spark an emotional need for their product. Few salespeople show the customer how they’ll feel as a result of using their productyet this emotional bond sets apart those salespeople, leaders, and companies that inspire, and those whose careers prematurely expire.


Shari Levitin helps sales teams bridge the gap between beating quota and selling with an authentic heartfelt approach. As the founder of the Shari Levitin Group, Shari has helped create over 1 billion dollars in increased revenue for companies in over 40 countries. Shari is the bestselling author of Heart and Sell: 10 Universal Truths Every Salesperson Needs to Know, a contributor to Forbes, CEO Magazine,and Huffington Post.