Not long ago I was walking through my basement when I spotted a paper-clipped article up against a pile of books next to my furnace. The title of the article was “Stop Talking…And Start Asking Questions.” I stopped walking…and picked the five pages up before noticing it was written in 1995. I read the entire piece and was reminded of what I already knew.
There was a section in the article that listed professional purchasing agents commenting on what they thought were good…and not-so-good questions. It was here where I began focusing on what I could glean from the article before passing it on to you.
If you use your imagination just a little, you can benefit from these suggestions.
Worst Question: Can we do something for you?
Best Question: How can we help you improve your planning process?
Worst Question: Are you the person who is going to make the buying decision?
Best Question: If you are interested in my service, how are you intending to take advantage of me and my service?
Worst Question: Who are you buying from now?
Best Question: What can I do to add value to your planning process?
Worst Question: What will it take to get your business?
Best Question: What can I do to make your planning easier?
The message here is to think before you fire away what you think is a good question. Do your questions clearly show that you are not prepared and have failed to do your homework? Or, are they worded in a fashion that indicates your sincere interest in providing a meaningful service?
Here is the deal: If you find yourself talking more than 33% during any conversation, chances are you are shooting yourself in the foot. The key is to ask more pointed questions and continue to urge the prospect to keep on talking.
Never, ever begin talking until the person you are talking to comes to a complete stop. Until then, keep urging them on to continue talking. Only in this way will you get to the crux of the problem, issue or concern.
Once you accomplish this “skill,” you will rise to the top of your field.
Mike Marchev freely shares his experiences, strategies and observations with travel professionals in an effort to keep them on top of their game. For a complimentary copy of his 12-Word Marketing Plan send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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