Questions That Work: How to Ask Questions That Will Help You Succeed in Any Business Situation

By Andrew Finlayson | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 8
QUESTIONS THAT WORK WHEN:
Selling and Negotiating

A timid question will always receive a confident answer.

LORD DARLING

Every day we find ourselves selling something. Even those who never call a client are selling their abilities and point of view. Since every organization has customers (if nothing else, internal customers), leaders should examine the questions the business should be asking, from the customer's point of view. These questions include the following:
▪ Why do customers need our product or service?
▪ How can we organize our business around the customer?
▪ What do our customers need from us to help them serve their customers?

This line of inquiry is a hard-core reality check. For those who feel such questions are exclusively the work of market researchers, the truth is that understanding the customer, getting into his or her head, is everyone's job. It takes a wide variety of viewpoints to come up with the nonstandard questions needed to discover the hidden needs of customers. Only when all employees of an organization feel they should ask questions can the company carry out a continuous dialogue to see how the customer uses its products or services. As a company asks questions, it decides what it will become. The information about the customer's needs and priorities is out there; you have to go and get it.

Selling is solving a problem. So says Ron Popeil, the Ronco pitchman for such products as Mr. Microphone and the Pocket Fisherman. When asked about his secret to success, he described his job as “point“ing” out some of the serious problems you really don't focus on.” Until Popeil came along, millions didn't know that life is empty without a folding fishing pole that fits in a glove compartment, but such an appeal has

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