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The Difference Between Close-Ended and Open-Ended Questions

Here’s how you can use open-ended questions to have better conversations.

Today, I’d like to discuss the difference between asking open-ended and closed-ended questions. There are essentially two ways to phrase questions, and I’ll go over each of them and how you can use them to help address your clients’ needs.

The first type of question is a closed-ended approach, where the expected response is typically a yes, no, or a one-word answer. In general, posing closed-ended questions is not ideal when trying to build a connection with someone. They tend to lead to a quick end to the conversation. I strongly recommend avoiding yes or no questions unless you’re certain about the answer and that answer guides you to the next open-ended question.

“Your conversations should be 80% listening and 20% talking.”

So, what makes a question open-ended? An open-ended question allows the other person to share a story or provide more insight into their motivations. Some examples of open-ended questions include: “How will this impact you?” or “What would it look like for you and your family to do this?” or “Why are you considering a move?”

These questions encourage individuals to provide information that helps you understand why they want to move or if moving is the right choice for them. As you continue working with leads, whether sourced from Zillow or open houses, pay attention to how you phrase your questions. Use open-ended questions to prompt more extensive responses.

Our golden rule is to let your clients do 80% of the talking while we contribute 20% of the conversation. Following this guideline is likely to result in increased conversion rates, whether it’s with open houses, Zillow leads, or any other method you use to connect with new clients.

If you’d like more information or wish to attend one of our team meetings, feel free to call or email us. We’d love to hear from you!

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