20 Rapport-Building Questions to Ask New Customers and Clients

20 great sales questions to ask

“Most people,” Steven Covey writes, “do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”

We have two ears and only one mouth, so we should listen twice as much as we talk.

Ironically, we’ve been told to listen so much that many of us have—well—stopped listening to the advice.

You probably understand, at least intellectually, that you need to listen “with the intent to understand.” But what are you listening to?

From my perspective, one of the best ways to become a better listener is to ask better questions. When you get someone talking passionately about themselves and their company, it can be easier (and more interesting) to just sit back and take it in.

So, with that in mind, here are 20 examples of the types of questions I ask when meeting a new client or customer for the first time. My goal is to get them talking about themselves, their company, and their industry. Here is a video where I dive into 10 of them.

Building a strong rapport with them builds a foundation of trust between us. And in building trust, attentive listening is essential.

20 Open-Ended Rapport-Building Questions to Help You Build Better Relationships with New Clients

  1. What is the goal/mission of your company?
  2. Tell me more about your organization.
  3. What is the BEST thing about your organization?
  4. What are you most proud of?
  5. When it comes to your field, why you (instead of someone else)?
  6. Who is the “go-to” person to learn about…?
  7. How did you get here? Tell me about you.
  8. Why did you choose to do this?
  9. What is your biggest concern moving into the new quarter/month/year?
  10. What is the biggest challenge you have right now?
  11. Why does your organization do this?
  12. Why is your company the best?
  13. What do many people think about your company that is not (completely) true?
  14. How can I help you?
  15. How do customers (donors, etc.) find you?
  16. If I could give you three wishes, what would they be?
  17. What keeps you up at night?
  18. What gets you going in the morning?
  19. What is your company’s “why?”
  20. When is your team at its best?

These 20 questions will get you started—but, of course, questions are only the beginning.

It’s amazing how thoughtful questioning and attentive listening lead to mutual understanding and better, stronger business relationships. Business-to-business partnerships thrive when we just stop and take the time to listen.

Which questions do you use to spark meaningful conversation? Let me know!

Get a copy of my best-selling book “The Give First Economy” for FREE here.  Thanks for reading!  And if you want to “elevate your career” today, check out Better Business University!

Related Posts

We All Need A Break Sometimes

We All Need A Break Sometimes

I pride myself on working hard. Most people that start businesses do. And that's a good thing. I have often said, that your own effort is the one thing you have control over. The market may go up and down. Inflation may rise and demand may drop...but you...

read more
It Takes Courage To Be Boring

It Takes Courage To Be Boring

In today's world, we all want fast results. We want same-day delivery, pizza in 30 minutes, and 6-pack abs in a week. And don't get me wrong...I want them too. But just because we want crazy fast results, doesn't mean that's what always happens. Some of the...

read more

Pin It on Pinterest