People have a tendency to think about good communication in terms of speaking, but when it comes to sales, business development or sales management, questions are often the key to success.
Consider that in most conversations [interviews, debates, sales calls, performance reviews…] the person asking the questions is the one who controls the conversation.
In addition, if we ask better questions we will get better answers; and because of these answers we will be equipped with better information, which will enable us to make better suggestions, craft more compelling value propositions, or make more interesting presentations.
Similar perspective has been made by Jack Falvey, founder of makingthenumbers.com, who said, “Asking the best question has always been more important than making the best presentations.”
Or as stated by Paul Sloane, founder of Destination Innovation, “Asking questions is the single most important habit for innovative thinkers.”
Be Prepared With a New Focus
If this perspective resonates with you, or if you’d like to put it to the test, make this simple adjustment when preparing for your next sales call, meeting, important telephone conversation, or presentation:
- Put an equal amount of effort into planning what you will “say” as well as what you will “ask.”
In other words, put the same amount of focus on your questions as you put on your speaking points.