Today’s tip is for sales people and leaders. It’s a simple concept that works its magic with no pain or ill feelings. It’s all about focusing on the other person. Here how it works.
Ask a question of a customer or employee, listen to the response and then ask another question for clarity on the topic answer. You use a simple phrase:
“Help me understand…(fill in the blank based upon the previous answer).”
This three little words will open up the flood gates of information flow. Your responsibility is to continue to listen to the flow of information and possibly new ideas. There are three things you need to do:
- Listen with an open mind. This is not the time to argue a point or detail. It’s time to listen and acknowledge the other person.
- Continue to ask questions when you are uncertain of the direction or flow of information – especially to gain clarity regarding a point. A major opportunity for sales people is to learn more about the impact of problems, especially the problems that you or your company can fix.
- Assuming you understand the definition of general or specific words or terms can be a fatal mistake. Here’s a new flash – your definition of a word or term could be materially different from the customer or employee! The only way to know for sure what they mean is to ask a question looking for meaning. A simple yet mostly overlooked method for gaining understanding about your customer or employee.
Asking questions and listening to the complete answers, then asking follow-up questions without bias or assumptions facilitates real understanding. And, a greater benefit of these methods is the customer or employee becomes committed to helping you – because they feel respected.
To learn more tips for sales or leadership, contact us at InnerActive Consulting Group – 901-757-4434. We look forward to hearing from you.