The Art of Asking Questions
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The Art of Asking Questions

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The Art of Asking Questions - “When you’re talking, you only learn what you already know”

The Art of Asking Questions - “When you’re talking, you only learn what you already know”

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    The Art of Asking Questions The Art of Asking Questions Document Transcript

    • Art of Asking QuestionsPEOPLE. PERFORMANCE. PROFITABILITY. “When you’re talking you only learn what you already know” Remember the last time someone tried to sell you something? How did it feel? Sales people are taught to describe their product or service and then ASK FOR THE ORDER, FREQUENTLY. But, that’s not what the clients really want. In fact, clients really don’t want to be sold; on the other hand, they do want assistance in making intelligent buying decisions. So how do we change this pattern? Well, let’s begin by changing the focus from learning how to CLOSE to learning how to OPEN. The solution to changing the negative bias that so many people have towards sales people is for you to change your focus and behavior. The focus must be on your client and not on your product/service and becoming a skilled diagnostician will dramatically change the way you are perceived by your clients and prospects. So what’s the secret? Learn the art of asking questions. To help you kick off this transition from telling to selling, here are some suggestions and an opportunity to practice this vital skill. Rules to follow ‰‰ Questions should be designed to engage a client/prospect in a dialogue that will uncover their passive and active pain. ‰‰ Questions should enable you to assist clients/prospects in prioritizing their most critical issues. ‰‰ Questions will enable you to determine your clients’ expertise as well as display your knowledge and expertise. ‰‰ Questions should be developed that are both open-ended and closed-ended. ‰‰ While asking questions, be a very active listener; develop follow up questions that assist your client in articulating their position as well as clarifying your understanding. DO NOT ASSUME ANYTHING! ‰‰ Remember, it’s not only what you ask, it’s also how you ask it. So, the careful preparation of your questions and practicing your questioning skill is essential. ‰‰ When you are asking questions, you are in greater control of the meeting. www.peakfocuscoach.com Peak Focus LLC © 2008-2012 • All rights reserved. Unauthorized duplication in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.
    • PEOPLE. PERFORMANCE. PROFITABILITY. Open-Ended Questions should be designed to encourage your client to open up and share a wide range of responses. You will have to prepare follow up questions to keep the dialogue moving. Phrases like why, how and tell me more are very effective. Examples ‰‰ What are your primary goals for this year? ‰‰ How would you solve this problem? ‰‰ How is the Green/Sustainable movement impacting your business? ‰‰ How would you describe your greatest source of growth? ‰‰ What are your greatest concerns? ‰‰ Why did you agree to this meeting? ‰‰ How do you engage your employees in planning? Stop and think about one of your clients. Consider what you already know and write your own ques- tions for a specific client. ‰‰ What are your________________________________? ‰‰ How would you describe________________________? ‰‰ Why do you __________________________________? ‰‰ How have you ________________________________? ‰‰ If you could___________________________________? ‰‰ How is_______________________________________? ‰‰ How do you___________________________________? www.peakfocuscoach.com Peak Focus LLC © 2008-2012 • All rights reserved. Unauthorized duplication in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.
    • PEOPLE. PERFORMANCE. PROFITABILITY. Closed-Ended Questions are designed to narrow the focus and attempt to elicit short, very specific answers. Closed-ended questions are quite frequently used to demonstrate your knowledge and therefore establish credibility. A variety of Closed-ended questions will earn you the right to ask Open- ended questions. Examples ‰‰ Are your sales people spending enough time prospecting? ‰‰ When was the last time you experienced double digit growth? ‰‰ Is the current economic downturn impacting your cash flow? ‰‰ Have you included a Reduce, Recycle, Reuse program to reduce your operating expenses? ‰‰ If I could show you how to improve your profitability by 20% would you spend 30 minutes with me? ‰‰ Can you increase your sales by 15% with your current sales team? ‰‰ Are you satisfied with your ability to hire the right people? Write your own questions for a specific client ‰‰ Are you______________________________________________? ‰‰ When was the _________________________________________? ‰‰ Is the current__________________________________________? ‰‰ Have you_____________________________________________? ‰‰ If I __________________________________________________? ‰‰ Can you______________________________________________? ‰‰ Are you______________________________________________? The most effective way to improve your skill in asking questions is to invest the time to prepare a wide range of questions and practice “Peeling The Onion”; one layer at a time. Role playing with a colleague can be very helpful; make a game out of it and practice how you ask your questions. Becoming an expert in the Art of Asking Questions will dramatically improve your sales performance. www.peakfocuscoach.com Peak Focus LLC © 2008-2012 • All rights reserved. Unauthorized duplication in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.
    • PEOPLE. PERFORMANCE. PROFITABILITY. About Peak Focus, LLC People. Performance. Profitability. Peak Focus gives you the tools to grow, develop and strengthen your team. With a mix of resources that we’ve created ourselves, as well as several powerful tools we’ve carefully assessed and believe in, we combine our passion and experience to guide companies and individuals toward optimized performance. Select your team members with confidence, help your key players develop their soft skills, and learn how to coach your entire team more effectively by engaging the experts at Peak Focus. For more information and access to free resources, please visit our website at www.peakfocuscoach.com Engage With Us Free tools, resources & updates LIKE us on Facebook Check out our blog Follow us on Twitter Follow us on LinkedIn www.peakfocuscoach.com Peak Focus LLC © 2008-2012 • All rights reserved. Unauthorized duplication in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.