What If 2019 Became Your Year for Asking Better Questions?
The follow-up question is how will asking better questions change your sales or business?
If you have or had small children, you know the never-ending questions they ask every single day! There is a neurological reason but that’s a topic for another day.
Can you remember a time when you were naturally curious?
Our outdated educational system is designed to provide answers and not encourage thoughtful questions and inquiry. So as an adult, the quest for a deep inquiry has been squashed out of existence in our minds.
In 2019, I’d like to challenge you to study and become passionate about asking better questions.
Let’s begin with these questions:
- How would being honest about 2018 become a springboard for 2019?
- What if during the sales conversation you asked better questions instead of pitching benefits and features?
- What one thing needs to change in 2019 that will have the greatest impact on exceeding your sales goals?
“Jeff Dyer coauthored the research showing questioning to be a key success factor among innovative executives.” (Source–A More Beautiful Question)
In the past, you were expected to have all the answers about your product and services. In 2019 the pendulum has shifted.
This is your advantage over the competition.
Yes, you have heard over and over again to develop compelling questions to ask the buyer (i.e. question #2 above) but why aren’t you asking yourself compelling questions? (i.e. question #3 above)
Here’s what happens during the typical sales day…you go on autopilot, doing the same thing without “question” or thoughtful inquiry. Here’s something to consider…when was the last time you spent a few minutes redefining old ideas about selling?
- Does your sales process support the new buyer?
- Have you moved beyond old habits and behaviors?
This is the time to ask meaningful questions about the way you sell, the sales process, and the habits/behaviors that guide you in both positive directions and negative ones.
Here’s a framework to guide you in the mental gymnastics of inquiry devised by Warren Berger.
It’s a three-part WHY-WHAT IF-HOW model. It’s a framework that follows a logical process by first stepping back to see things in a different way. Then finishes by taking action that the question enlightens.
Why do this? Because your buyer is hungry for better answers. Therefore, you need to learn how to ask the right questions and/or better questions!
The first step is by stepping back in order to move forward!
Step back to ask why.
Step back to reconsider both question and answer.
Asking powerful WHY questions you must:
- Step back
- Notice what your competition or others miss
- Challenge assumptions (including your own-how many times have I said this!)
- Gain a deeper understanding of the situation or problem at hand, through contextual inquiry
- Question the questions you’re asking
- Take ownership of a particular question
(source-A More Beautiful Question)
What If questions are the “sky’s the limit” moment of questioning where anything is possible. In Peak Performance Mindset training, it’s called unlimited thinking.
This stage of inquiry is critical to creating and developing new business. In its simplest form, it’s brainstorming.
What if questions can be used to move forward from the past and make a fresh start.
Once you’ve answered the What If questions you can move to HOW questions.
For example, Netflix was started by a man who asked the question, What If videos could be rented without charging late fees?
After renting videos from Blockbuster, he didn’t return the videos when they were due and racked up sizable late fees. It caused him to ask a better question about how to rent videos that eventually put Blockbuster out of business!
“How” can give form to your questions. This is where the How stage of questioning requires action.
How many times do you have an idea…a GREAT idea put never ask the question HOW or never see it through?
You must take the great idea out of your head and put it on paper.
This is the stage where you develop the How, then take action.
Make 2019 the year to ask better questions…sales savvy intelligent questions! Then take ACTION!
If you’d like to learn how to sell with intelligence in the upcoming new year, why not schedule an introductory call with me and discover how coaching can help you accomplish more! Schedule by clicking here. You’ll never know what’s possible unless you do. Why not do it now!
Christine Harrington is the Savvy Sales Lady, helping sales teams and individuals win more sales through a unique way of selling called Peak Performance Mindset. Christine brings 40 years of selling experience with Fortune 500 Companies, to help you shorten the learning curve, move past your selling blocks and position yourself as a Peak Performer. Sales Leaders, Sales Managers, Sales Teams, Small Business owners and their employees have captured their edge by attending Christine’s Peak Performance Mindset Workshop and Coaching. Learn how she can help you or your team. Get the edge by clicking here.