Here’s a quote from The Wisdom of Andrew Carnegie as told to Napoleon Hill: “The question method which master salesmen often resort to, has the effect of arousing the imagination and putting it to work, and the reason for this is obvious. By asking questions the salesman forces his prospective buyer to think. Moreover, he chooses the line of thought to be engaged in, by the adroitness of his questions.” (Emphasis added by Carnegie)
I’ve always taught in my negotiation skills classes that s/he who asks the questions controls the conversation. Ask questions and then, of course, listen to the answer. You’ll gather lots of good information that will ultimately help you with the sale or the negotiation. And this works really well at networking events, too. People love to be asked about what they do, and they’ll go on and on about themselves if you appear even the least bit interested. One problem that I’ve noticed, though, is sometimes they go on and on for too long, and then you must diplomatically extricate yourself from the conversation.
Asking lots of questions of potential clients is useful, too, to help screen out the ones that you don’t want to work with. Yes, that’s right, I’m suggesting that you not take every Tom, Dick, and Harry, or every Jane, Sue, or Sally that comes along. Some clients will suck the life blood right out of you, and they’re not worth the time or energy investment you’ll make for the amount of money you’ll receive. So use questions to screen out the ones that are less than desirable.
Have any questions for me? Feel free to email me anytime with questions, thoughts, ideas for future blogs, topics you’re interested in, etc. and I’ll do my best to respond.