Secrets of Question Based Selling: How the Most Powerful Toll in Business Can Double Your Sales Results


  • Title: “Secrets of Question Based Selling: How the Most Powerful Toll in Business Can Double Your Sales Results”
  • Author: Thomas A. Freese
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks, Inc.
  • Copyright: 2003
  • No. of Pages: 264
  • No. of Chapters: 15


Readability: 4

Maintains Attention: 4

Applicability of Information: 5


“Secrets of Question Based Selling” by Thomas Freese is one of the best books I have read regarding sales. For many of us, sales is a scary and daunting word. Yet, we all know that it is a critical part of any successful business. Freese provides a detailed and thorough approach to sales.

Freese’s style of writing is engaging and easy to read. He shares a lot of stories and practical examples of the points he is teaching. He clearly describes each principle both with words and visual aids. Then Freese offers examples and real-life stories to solidify his point.

I found this book refreshing in that it is not a typical book where you can read it in one sitting or read the book once and never look at it again. I believe that this is the type of book that becomes a resource and reference book. I found it very helpful to take notes and to work on various assignments in order to maximize the value of Freese’s sales method.

Freese provides a sales process that focuses on questions and learning and less about telling the customer what I do. “Secrets of Question Based Selling” is very practical and useful. I thought the principles that were and taught and the stories that were shared to be very real and applicable to one’s everyday sales life. Freese helped me to become more comfortable with the concept of sales. His book walked me through a process in which I developed my own personal style and approach to sales that I can be very comfortable with.

For anyone struggling with sales or whose sales are struggling this is a must-read.


“Secrets of Question Based Selling” focuses on what to ask within the sales process as opposed to what to say. Freese has broken his book into three main sections. The first section offers a variety of specific sales strategies to help you become more successful in your sales technique. He discusses strategies such as:

  1. Mismatching: The Avoidable Risk
  2. The Herd Theory
  3. Gold Medals & German Shepherds
  4. Fueling the Sales Process

The second section of “Secrets of Question Based Selling” describes the sales process. Freese calls this sales process “Conversational Layering”. Conversational Layering walks you through eight steps of the sales process:

  1. Curiosity
  2. The QBS Sales Forum
  3. Credibility
  4. Expand Relationships
  5. Needs Development
  6. Qualify
  7. Present Solutions
  8. Commitment

Freese clearly articulates each of these eight steps and provides numerous examples to help the reader better understand each step.

The third and final section of “Secrets of Question Based Selling” is what I believe to be the heart of Freese’s book and the most important section. It is in this section that the sales process becomes real and applicable to the reader. All of the strategies and principles from the first two sections are pulled together to show us how to implement this selling system. Freese shares practical ways in which to put his methods into practice. In this section, he discusses critical topics as:

  • How to navigate the sales process
  • How to turn your cold calls into lukewarm calls
  • How to get to the right people
  • How to build value in your sales presentation
  • How to close more sales

“Secrets of Question Based Selling” is very well organized. I believe that this book is best utilized as a reference book that you use continues to develop your sales approach, right down to what questions will you ask when you begin a sales call.


After reading this book, the following principles must be understood in order to achieve successful sales:

  • “If you want to motivate people, then it’s more important to think about what they want, rather than what you want.”
  • “A salesperson who continues doing exactly the same things should expect exactly the same results.”
  • “Salespeople who understand how to make prospects curious will never have to worry about being successful.” “When prospects find out that you may be able to solve their problems, they will become curious and want to know more.”

A potential customers needs come from both their pain and their desire.

MARCH 9, 2020

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