Remember the old saying, “curiosity killed the cat”? Well, the lack of curiosity has done-in more than a few businesses and leadership teams. Strong questions make a big impact.
We’ve all watched the lawyer movies and know the basic concept of never asking a question, to which you don’t already know the answer. That makes sense in the court room, but skilled leaders know the value of asking genuine questions to gather new information. That information can shape your sales approach, your company’s direction, the way your solution is framed, and a whole lot more.
That’s my premise and it’s one I stand by. Opening questions in the sales cycle can get the conversation going. Gathering information sets the stage for better understanding. Good listening typically starts with strong and planned inquiries. Trial close questions can close the deal, for sure. So, what’s happened with the concept of asking good questions?
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I’m not sure there is one specific answer, but rooted in the reply is the fact that some people seem to want to be the ones who know everything. So, if you know what the person is going to say or are convinced you have the answer, then why ask the question? Really! Why ask the question?
For the information gathered is the reason why. To get to the heart of what’s on the person’s mind. To better understand their circumstances, goals, objections, and a myriad of other benefits. It’s a basic, but important reminder. Put more thought into asking better questions. Not comfortable in a social setting, or on unsure footing with a boss or a co-worker? Start by asking a few good questions. If you listen and pay attention, you’re likely to get more good questions and gain valuable insight. That’s the power of asking questions.
Uncovering problems, improving processes, learning why something works the way it does, or why it isn’t working at all, are all ways to gain new business and solidify the business you have. It’s also the way to recruit new employees, retain your key talent, and build better relationships with those who work with and for you. Think again about the value of a good question (or two) before that next big meeting with your client, prospect, or boss.
What will you ask first?
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