Better Questions, Listening

Opening Up

In which we discuss questions we can use to broaden narrow relationships. My son and I have seen a movie – a variation on the boy meets girl theme – in which, after a long period of time, the relationship broadens from long time friends to ‘more than friends.’ Deliciously awkward moments Read more »

If They Don’t Want to Go There

In which we discuss what to do if a client doesn’t want to answer questions about details. Last week, we suggested… “When we’re selling products or processes that improve our clients’ operations (from cash management to document processing to any number of industrial products)…. Read more »

Staple Yourself

In which we suggest stapling yourself to a dollar flowing through a client’s company. As parents of teenagers, we hear the following dialog frequently: Us: Hey, welcome home. How was your evening? Them: Good. Read more »

What Are We Doing Here?

In which we learn to focus conversation with a single question before launching into broader discussion. Since I’m officially older than 18 years, I find that I’m more easily confused than my teenaged children when we’re in conversation. They’ll ask me questions or say things that leave me wondering, “What did that mean? How do … Read more »

Wedding Shoes

In which we discuss the importance of asking questions to understand the whole problem, not just the part that shows up first and easy. I once went to a wedding in another city. A friend of mine (also engaged to be married and not the world’s sharpest dresser) went into a local men’s clothing store … Read more »

Talking Business

In which we learn to ask questions about four business drivers to understand our clients’ businesses. As your clients are reviewing their plans and budgets for the year…. now’s the time to raise the level of your conversations with them to a level above “we’d really like the opportunity to work with you.” All business … Read more »

Internal Issues

In which we learn to ask about “internal issues” that buyers may not tell us about. Airport bound last Tuesday, I stopped briefly at my office. Starting down the basement stairs, I noticed … water…ankle deep… lapping gently around now saturated boxes of financial records, project deliverables, and family heirlooms. Silent scream …. I left … Read more »

It’s Just a Phase You’re Going Through

In which we’re encouraged to acknowledge our clients’ stories so they’re sure we’ve heard them. As last week came to Friday, many conversations ended with the suggestion, “Have a happy Easter.” Several of us announced that we were headed to dinner tables set by our mothers or mothers in law. Celtic Grammas, it turns out, … Read more »

Simple….. Not!

In which we’re encouraged to ask enough questions to understand whether our prescribed solution to a client’s problem will really work in the client’s environment. Watching classroom sales training role-plays is a little like watching football teams practice without pads… Low intensity. Move through the motions. Nobody trying too hard to take anyone else out. … Read more »