What you have to offer has a deeper more personal impact on your customers’ lives than you learn, lead, and leverage right now! Whether you are selling an appointment, a service, or a product, it’s not what you know about your offering that matters most, it’s what you know about your customers. No doubt, you have a great message, but if you never get your message through to others, it really doesn’t matter. The business of our business is people, not products or services.
Too many professionals struggle to get their customers to want to engage, want to listen, and want to move forward. The best communicators build their personal influence by asking the right questions at the right time so that they can appropriately align with what already drives their customers. Make no mistake, the right questions lead to the right conversations; the right conversations lead to the right personal connections, the right personal connections lead to the right opportunities, and the right opportunities lead to sales.
There are four types of power questions. They are relating questions, resonating questions, differentiating questions, and activating questions.
Customers buy for their reasons and not ours. Relating questions help you position yourself and your offering to align with your customers, what they want, and what best serves them.
These power questions help you discover who your customers are, their character and values; they help you discover where your customers are, their knowledge, skills, and attitude; and they help you discover where your customers want to go, their desired change, and their desired state of affairs. Face it, customers don’t care what you know if you don’t know them.
Customers best respond to value that is personal, powerful, and unique. Resonating questions help you tailor your approach and your language so that your value message is fully received, and that your customers ‘get it.’
These power questions help you learn why they are who they are; they help you learn why they are where they are at, and they help you learn why they want to get to where they want to go. Understanding your customers’ why, allows you to communicate your value in a way that makes the deal bigger, more personal, and more meaningful to your customers.
The differences lie in the details. Differentiating questions help you stand out among the crowd, and effectively gain priority over price and the competition.
These power questions help you discern the details of what’s most important to your customers, and they help you also discern the details of what should be most important to your customers. As Steve Jobs said, “People don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” It is up to you to really lean in, lead with questions, and help your customers connect the dots.
If your customers can’t see it, they likely won’t risk it. Activating questions help you instill certainty and clearly communicate in a way that compels your customers to take action now.
These power questions help your customers experience in their minds having already moved forward, as well as experience in their minds the cost and consequences of not taking action. Your enthusiasm for your offering is important, but it is your customers’ mental picture that reigns supreme.
Your customers don’t want a verbal brochure. They want a professional who gets them and makes the process fast, fun, and interactive! You have a great offering and a great message, but there is far more to the story you tell. In order to accurately and completely tell your story, you need to genuinely know the characters. You need real insight, and that insight can only come from asking really good questions.
The right questions lead to the right conversations; the right conversations lead to the right personal connections, the right personal connections lead to the right opportunities, and the right opportunities lead to sales. The right power questions have the power to positively affect how and what your customers think on, focus on, and take action on. Remember, it’s the way you treat each customer and the way you communicate your value that matters most.
As CEO of Assured Influence, Mike Hirschfield is on a mission to empower, equip, and exalt sales, business and finance professionals everywhere! Mike is obsessed with helping others build personal influence, become trusted advisors, and leverage solutions that are aligned with their customers' most powerful buying motives.
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