On Monday, 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 (we) must already know.
There was a section in the article that listed comments on what were considered good… and not-so-good questions. It was here where I focused in to see what I could glean from the article and pass on to you.
Here is an example of what the article’s theme was about:
Not so good question: What did you like most about your last vacation?
Better question: How can I add value to improve upon your last vacation?
Not so good question: What went wrong, if anything, during your last vacation?
Better question: What three things do you want to see happen during your vacation?
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 indicate your sincere interest in providing a meaningful service?
Here is the test: 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 begin talking until the person you are talking to comes to a complete stop. Then pause for a full second before responding. This will indicate that you are actually listening to what is being said. You also want to 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.
My name is Mike Marchev… and I am very interested in learning “How I might be in position to add more direction to your business-development activities?”
Mike Marchev is always looking for a few more proactive travel professionals to join his Sales and Marketing Club. Send for details.