"Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers." -Voltaire
Ever have a prospect ask you how much your product costs? Of course you have. Don't answer the question. The question means you've not yet done your job. Once they're asking you, "when can we implement?" then you can say, "well, we haven't discussed the terms yet."
I can hear you thinking.... how do I get to that point tng?
You have to establish their needs and illuminate a problem worth solving
How do I do that?
You ask questions
What kind of questions tng?
High Impact Questions
Can you give an example of a high impact question?
Sure thing pal. But first, what is a high impact question?
A high impact question is an open ended question that gets your prospect to think critically about a topic. If your prospect pauses and says, "hmmm, that's a good question," or "I've never thought of it that way," then you're a rock star. Have a drink on me
What's the best high-impact question you've ever heard tng?
Hmmm.... good question, I've never considered that. -Wooow, I see what you did there. Have a drink.
One of the best high impact questions I've heard comes from a VP of a software company I know named Jeff. Jeff always asks the same high impact question, he asks, "What is your exit strategy?"
Here is a sample of how Jeff's conversation might go with someone that owns a large CPA firm. Assume that he's established credibility and has earned the right to ask such questions. He's past the "how is your family" stage:
Jeff: What is your exit strategy?
Owner: (looks confused) I'm not sure I understand?
Jeff: Every business owner has an exit strategy. For some, they plan to hand it down to their children, others plan to hire a GM/partner that will take over and provide them with residual income, some look to be acquired or purchased by a large competitor and others look to IPO.
Owner: I see. I suppose I had always planned to hand the business to my children someday
Jeff: That's great, some of the most successful businesses I consult with are family owned. If your children were ready to take over tomorrow, what if anything would prevent such a transition?
Owner: Well, we need to update our storage of client information. Right now we are 100% analog.
Jeff: Chances are your children are more immersed in the digital age than we are, right?
Jeff: Is it fair to say that converting your practice to a digital format is a problem you need to solve then?
What Jeff did was he used the question, "what is your exit strategy?" as a way to get the owner to admit that his business had deficiencies. He gets the "needs" and is able to establish a "problem" that he will then position his software as the solution to.
Ask Hubski: What are some high impact questions that you've used in either your personal or business conversations?
By the way, the next #sellingwithtng topic will be paraphrasing. Combine high impact questions with paraphrasing and you'll be the best date any guy/gal has ever been on.
Here are some commonly used high impact questions:
- Many of our clients are reporting problems with areas A, B, and C. How are these areas affecting you? What do you think about them?
- What, if anything, is preventing you from achieving your goals?