Most people get nervous when placed in situations of ‘conflict,’ and therefore have a tendency to speak too much. It’s almost as if you feel the need to justify, defend, or prove yourself, and you just start talking, regardless of what actually comes out of your mouth.
It’s the same in Sales. You meet a prospect for the first time and you immediately begin to tell them everything about you and your product or service. At the end of your pitch, the prospect says “Thank you very much,” and you never hear from them again.
What about personal relationships? Ever been put off by someone who simply wont stop talking?
Your 29 second elevator pitch that you learned off by heart, isn’t always appropriate.
There is an alternative approach.
You can lead the conversation, the objection, or the conflict, by asking better questions.
Here’s 3 Reasons how asking better questions can help you control a conversation:
1. Show an Interest.
Be authentic by asking questions to understand more about the person sitting in front of you. What are the reasons behind the customers objection? What is your prospect actually looking for? Not only will this allow you to properly understand where your customer is in their decision making process, but it also shows the customer that you are taking the time to listen and understand them and ultimately their needs.
You cannot sell something to a customer that they do not want or need. Neither can you resolve any conflict if you have not dug a little deeper into the conversation. Show an interest in the person sitting across from you by asking better questions so that you can understand exactly where they are coming from.
2. Lead the Conversation
If you are the person who asks the questions then you are able to lead the conversation to its logical conclusion. In some instances, customers actually do not know what they want, and your questions can lead them towards making more informed decisions that are actually in their best interests. By asking better questions you can lead your clients in a way that makes them feel that they have come to the decision themselves.
3. Divert Some of the Pressure
In any type of situation where you feel that you need to divert attention away from yourself, simply ask a question back to the person applying the pressure. This is a technique used in negotiation because it transfers the ‘pressure’ back onto the person raising the objection. Not only does it the get the client to consider a solution to the problem, but it also gives you time to strategize if caught off guard.
Your ability to ask better questions can transform the role you play in conversations, both in your business and personal life. Most people try to dominate a conversation by talking, but are rarely ever in control.
This week, practice asking more questions in your day-to-day conversations and see the difference it makes to the direction of the conversations. Avoid asking questions that begin with “why” as these can come across as a little accusatory, rather use questions beginning with “how” and “what”.
And if you ever meet someone who answers your questions with a follow-up question, then you know you’ve met your match.
Have a great week