In sales, it’s said that quality questions reveal hidden needs and want to share the ‘must ask’ guaranteed to increase business
Yes, if you really want to open up different ways to help your clients, prospective clients and referral partners you would remember this one question. “How do you see the next 12 months working out for you?” Ask it at every opportunity.
It is such a powerful question when asked at the right time and with the correct tonality of voice. It’s a question that looks forward and one that shows genuine concern and interest about the person you ask.
Clearly it show that you are interested and if you ‘listen with your eyes and your ears’ you will begin to understand how you can help that individual. Eyes will reveal body language. From the way someone may shift in their chair, lean forward or try to hide a frown or grimace if they are in fear of the future.
Listening ‘between the lines’ is critical and you will generally find three types of response:
- They are concerned about the future. Maybe worried about lack of future business, competitors or disruptive circumstances, beyond their control, that will effect their future revenue.
- They are excited about the future. They may have expansion plans or new opportunities for growth. Maybe they’re taking on new products or services or new staff, larger premises. You may notice an enthusiasm and excitement in their voice. Their plans may or may not be realistic but a few questions about how they going to practically achieve their new goals will reveal all.
- They are happy with the status quo. Everything is fine and cannot imagine any circumstance that could change their world.
The reason this question is so powerful lies in the responses from types 1 and 2 and your willingness to help. To help them overcome difficulties with your product, services or advice. To help them achieve their goals fast or with less risk or less cost with your products or services.
Let’s keep this practical you may or may not be able to help the person yourself but I’m sure you have a referral partner that can help them. This question is a very powerful one in helping you reach out to help more clients. Teach this to your referral partners – they will thank you for it.
Rebecca Cross is a Virtual PA with a background experience working with IBM and the Wall Street Journal, amongst others. She specialises in providing creative business and administration support for entrepreneurs and business owners who understand the value of working on their business, rather than in their business.