Identify Client Expectations in Sales

Cure questions help you identify your prospects’ expectations of value. In other words, is the solution you offer, and its associated cost, worthwhile in the prospects’ mind? Have you demonstrated need and built sufficient discontent within the prospect to justify the cure?

Examples of Cure Questions:

Suppose you could (fill-in-the-blank). What would that enable you to do?

How would that help?

Would (fill-in-the-blank) have any other advantages?

How much would you save if you could (fill-in-the-blank)?

You may be wondering what is the difference between a complication question and a cure question? Think of it this way: the COMPLICATION question gets the prospect to speculate about negative impacts and costs of problems. Whereas the CURE question asks the prospect to speculate on the potential value of the solution. Complication questions are bad news. Cure questions are good news.

Cure questions are usually more effective if phrased as “open-ended,” meaning they invite conversation and elaboration. The answers you receive will give you an idea of what is important and valuable to your customer.


In this final phase of the Doctor role, you must carefully manage the information to communicate to the prospect. Naturally, the prospect wants to hear your solution, if you’ve done the job of building discontent. However, if you unload the whole prescription at once, there is nothing preventing the propsect from going to your competitor, and there is no reason for further communication.

Word to the wise: present only those features and benefits which address specific problems you have discussed previously. It is not time to outline a total treatment plan. That comes later.

Your competitor can often offer the same features and benefits. As you move into the Research step of the selling process, you begin the work of differentiating yourself. This is where you demonstrate how your product and service are uniquely able to accomplish the prospect’s goals. Setting and achieving Sales Call Objectives is how you accomplish the task of differentiating yourself.

Kevin Davis

Kevin F. Davis is the author of The Sales Manager’s Guide to Greatness”, which was named the 2018 Axiom Business Book Award Winner, Silver Medal. Kevin is also the author of Slow Down, Sell Faster!”.