The questions you ask help uncover buyer needs and desires. It is the only way to expose objections and identify the ultimate decision-makers. By asking questions, you qualify the prospect and ensure that you both are at the same place in the buying process. Moreover, questions open the door to creativity and lead to solutions you had not previously considered. Questions are the pillar of the discovery phase and essential to the sales process. When you develop your curiosity and know your objective, questions come easily and flow effortlessly toward your goal.
Develop your curiosity to ask beautiful questions
“Knowing the answers will help you in school. Knowing how to question will help you in life.” — Warren Berger
Warren Berger is a researcher and the author of The Book of Beautiful Questions. He suggests that beautiful questions are ones that can be acted upon. As a salesperson, you realize the importance of spurring action. For example, when the sales process stalls a beautiful question is the lever to pry it loose. A beautiful question reveals true objections and hidden agendas. Similarly, questions that inspire innovation and creative solutions produce action. Beautiful questions are the result of curiosity. So, how do you develop your curiosity and begin to frame beautiful questions?
Tips to develop your curiosity
Curiosity makes your mind active and observant of new ideas, so says Donald Latumahina, writing for lifehack.org. He is the founder of Life Optimizer and believes that curiosity is an important trait of a genius. He believes “a curious mind can look beneath the surface and discover new worlds and possibilities.” Above all, he holds that curious people get more out of their lives by existing in an expanded world. He offers these tips on how to develop your curiosity.
Keep an open mind
An essential part of curiosity is to be open to learn, unlearn and relearn. An expansive, open mind allows you to accept that some things you know and believe to be true are wrong. Changing your mind is okay and a symptom of growth.
Don’t take things for granted
Dig deeper. Look below the surface and question beliefs, traditions and established thought. Your prospect may be leaning on established norms or company policy but that does not mean that you cannot respectfully pose questions.
Ask questions relentlessly
Effective questioning consists of two parts: 1) knowing what questions to ask, and 2) knowing how to ask them. Knowing what questions to ask comes from your research of the potential prospect. Knowing how to ask comes from experience. Salespeople are required to uncover needs, desires and motivations. What, where, when, why, how and who are the best friends of top salespeople. Framing questions that reveal factors to advance the sale are crucial. As a result, you continue to develop your curiosity.
Don’t label something as boring
Curious people rarely see something as boring. Exciting new worlds are at every turn. Imagine seeing through a child’s eyes and resist closing the door on new possibilities.
See learning as something fun
Learning is a process and should be viewed as fun and exciting. When you research a new prospect’s industry, dig deeper to investigate the challenges and opportunities that exist. Study the background and seek to understand how your product can be of greater value.
Read diverse kinds of reading
Expand your world through reading a variety of books or magazines. Pick up a non-fiction book or autobiography if you are prone to reading fiction. Change up your viewing habits to include documentaries or historical dramas. Feed your mind to develop your curiosity much as you feed your body for strength and health.
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