Of all the tools you possess to get genuine, much better results, asking great questions is probably the most effective.
Well, they guarantee almost immediate involvement.
The next step?
Develop and strengthen rapport to gain trust.
Given that great questions control and guide a conversation, and cause mental involvement, they can be used to not only offset objections, but also to elicit a person’s beliefs, attitudes, and importantly, their values.
And once you understand a person’s values you can proceed with confidence and imbue your questions with pertinent information to make them even sharper.
It may surprise you, but if you study successful people you will notice they tend to ask far more questions than most.
The trick, of course, is to put your ego and your mouth to one side and open up your ears.
This should be applied rigorously to all forms of communication, implicitly in all sales situations, negotiations and the like.
The reasoning behind this is quite simple.
You have all been brought up to answer questions.
You will answer a question even if you say absolutely nothing.
It all happens inside your head.
How do you ask great questions?
How do you create them?
What form should they take?
Well, it depends upon the result that you’re seeking.
“How easy going is he?” gets a different response to
“How difficult is he?”
“How tall is he?” from “How short is he?”
In other words, words affect the response that you get.
You need to think ahead and be well prepared.
Keeping your focus centred on open questions is critical.
“Do you wish you had made a different decision?” will generally elicit a yes/no response.
And if it is the opposite answer to the one you were seeking, you may then struggle.
Instead structure your questions along open lines.
“How did you feel once the decision was made?”
This will open a person up and they will respond to you in a much warmer way.
And leading questions are also a must.
Well, they alter the way the facts are interpreted.
The best questions draw a person into the conversation.
“What did you discover at the meeting?”
“What do you think about the overall program?”
“Have you ever thought about such and such?”
“What next steps do you intend to take?”
Why not brainstorm ahead of time for potential leading and open questions?
Keep in mind the preferred representational system a person uses.
Is the person primarily visual, auditory or kinaesthetic?
And structure your questions accordingly.
And remember, when people are learning they tend to be highly visual.
Also don’t forget to add a tag question to the end of your statement to gain agreement.
“This makes perfect, doesn’t it?”
Just think about the quality of your questions.
Do you tend to ask more closed or open questions?
Do you have a number of leading questions up your sleeve, ready to use?
So, become better prepared, think ahead; what key questions should you have available, and also what emotions do you wish to generate?
Generating the right emotion at the appropriate time is so valuable.
Be ready, assemble these questions, build strong rapport, and get the outcome that you really want.