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Ask the wrong question and you could send your customers to your competition…

We all know that asking the right questions is key to success and that asking the wrong questions can have the opposite effect. This applies not just in business, but to life in general.

You’ll know this is true if you have teenagers in your household. Treading carefully is an art form when it comes to getting a teenager to respond. Ask well-timed, caring questions and you’re more likely to get a positive response – but jump straight in with the wrong questions and you are more likely to get an eye-rolling, arm-flailing dismissal!

It’s the same when it comes to business – the best-performing businesses ask the right questions in a prepared and systematic way.

We have all turned away from someone trying to sell us a car, a house, a washing machine or even shoes when they ask the first clumsy question.

For example, if we had only just met and I started telling you how wonderful our latest washing machine was and all the things it could do for you, you’d likely be put off by the hard sell and by my assumption that you are ready to make the buying decision.

You don’t build value by telling your customer how great your product is, you build value by asking them about the challenges, difficulties and stresses they have with their current product, and then by having a conversation about how your product can take care of all of that.

When you use the SPIN (situation, problem, implication and need payoff) framework to ask the right questions, you will help your customers genuinely feel the need for your product and you will not need to persuade them as they will have already persuaded themselves.

Click here to explore the SPIN framework in more detail and learn how to ask the right questions to ensure a positive outcome for both you and your customers.

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