Open Ended Questions


Listening proactively can win you the deal. These open ended questions have the power to give you information you would not even know to look for.

Boilerplate questions

These are questions you need answers to in almost every negotiation you engage in. They will give your clues what you counterpart is hoping to get out of the deal.


What would the best outcome in your opinion?


How do you see this collaboration working in practice?


What do you see as the core issue here?


How does that core issue impact things?


How is that beneficial?


What about this doesn’t work for you?

Fill in the blank questions
These same questions can be used over and over. They will not seem repetitive as you will be referencing new information each time.

What do you mean by______?


How can we best achieve______?


How does this relate to ______?


How does this person relate to ______?


How does this fit into ______?


How is this important for ______?
Prompt statements

These are meant to neutrally pick up on something that was said. They are not meant to put words into someone's mouth. It has to be as statement that feels true to them.


It sounds like ____.
 (Example: It sounds like you are worried that xyz will happen)


It looks like ____.
(Example: It looks like this will increase the costs by xyz)


It seems like ____.
(Example: It seems like there is something about this that is bothering you)



After you have delivered a prompt statement, be silent and wait for the other person to reply. They will respond as if you asked a question.