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Are You Asking The Right Questions For Your Business?

Are You Asking The Right Questions For Your Business?
February 22, 2021 Jacky Ling
In Sales-Marketing, Uncategorized

Let’s explore which questions will get the best results for you

  • Have you ever come out of a meeting and thought ‘I didn’t really get the answers I needed’?
  • Struggled with a phone conversation that was full of awkward silences and you felt obliged to plug the gaps?
  • Finished a networking event and thought ‘Wow! That person was really difficult to talk to!’?
  • Do you find it difficult to get the right feedback from your customers?

As a small business owner this is a particularly important conversational relationship to get right. You need to have that rapport with your customer to make sure you are doing everything right to meet their needs, sell your product or service, and keep them repeat buying from you.

If you have experienced any of these scenarios, here is some guidance that may help you finesse your questioning skills and get more out of your conversations.

Closed Questions

Before thinking of the questions you might ask, consider the answers you want to receive – are you happy with a short and succinct response or are you looking to develop your conversation and quality of the answers further?

So, what is a closed question and what kind of response will this provide? Closed questions generally offer you a yes or no answer. They still have their place in everyday conversation, especially when used to confirm or summarise, for example:

ARE – CAN – COULD – DID – DOES – HAVE – IS – MIGHT – SHALL – SHOULD – WERE – WILL – WOULD. Here are a few examples in full questions:

  • Are you happy to recommend our product/service?
  • Did you feel you had a good customer service experience?
  • Will you consider using our product/service again?
  • Were you pleased with our product/service?
  • Would you like to buy any of our products/service today?
  • Could we have made your experience with us any better?
  • Have you enjoyed shopping with us?

Is it possible to get a more expansive answer to a closed question? The answer is yes. Try it and see, ask a closed questions, then stay silent and wait, the majority of people will fill the silence with more detail.

Open questions

 If you are looking to drill down and get more information from your fellow confabulator, open-ended questions encourage a longer conversation by starting your question with HOW – WHY– WHAT? Now let’s flip our closed question examples into open ended questions:

  • Are you happy to recommend our product/service?
  • What were the main reasons you chose our product/service?
  • Did you feel you had a good customer service experience?
  • How did you feel about our customer service?
  • Will you consider using our product/service again?
  • What would make you use our product/service again?
  • Were you pleased with our product/service?
  • What is the most important feature of our product/service for you?
  • Would you like to buy any of our products/service today?
  • Why are you looking for product/service today?
  • Could we have made your experience with us any better?
  • How would you describe your experience with us?
  • Have you enjoyed shopping with us?
  • What could we do to improve your shopping experience with us and why?

Top 5 Checklist 

  1. Be mindful of your question style. Did you just ask a closed-ended question when an open-ended question would have yielded more information?
  2. Change any future question into an open-ended question using the examples above.
  3. If you use closed questions, make sure they are for quantitative purposes only.
  4. If you do need to use closed questions, make sure you follow it up with an open-ended question to create more dialogue with your customer.
  5. Listening skills are so important and it is imperative that you absorb the information that is being disclosed to you. If you can, make notes! It shows you are dedicated and value their feedback.

 

 

Practise these and I am sure you will notice a big improvement in creating lengthier discussions, detailed responses and improved relationships with your customers.

The best approach for networking

No doubt, to promote your small business you will probably have experienced some form of networking, whether it be a face-to-face event (in the good old days) or a Zoom or MS teams call now that most things have moved online. Out of any networking event the aim is to make new connections and create dialogue with other business owners to build relationships explore new opportunities. Not everybody is an elegant conversationalist and some people are harder to talk to than others, so, we need to find ways of pulling the right information out of people and by doing this we need engagement.

 Engagement is more than just answers, it’s tapping into emotions, opinions and gives us a deeper insight into who we are talking to. By using TED-TH questions, we can achieve this by making a simple adjustment to the standard questions we ask. We can use these to gain lengthy and useful answers through only using one question as opposed to asking lots of different little ones.

T.E.D. – T.H

  • TELL ME
  • EXPLAIN TO ME
  • DESCRIBE TO ME
  • TALK ME THROUGH
  • HELP ME TO UNDERSTAND

Get comfortable in your conversations

Now we are familiar with open and closed questions, we can implement them where needed to make the conversation flow, feel comfortable in the moment for both parties and ultimately share valuable information. We want the conversation to be natural and not feel like a game of ’20 questions’ or an interrogation.

If you’d like to learn the art of elegant conversation, sign up to The Acorn Club for more resources or if you would prefer 1-2-1 coaching with me, Jacky Ling, let’s talk today.

 

 

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