Because I am a coach/mentor, I have a need to get a conversation started that leads to the heart of the matter; why are we meeting?
With new contacts, my first question is always: “Tell me your story.” Through their answers I learn a lot about how they see themselves, and how immersed they are in their businesses. Their story tells me how they see themselves with their family and their community. Many times I learn more from what is not being shared.
This question forms a foundation for my next question: “What is on your mind?” this question gets to the heart of the matter; you are asking them to share what is most important to them. With this question you are not guiding someone; you are giving them permission to select what they share.
The right questions are the opening to a successful sales presentation. When I make an appointment to sell something, my opening statement incorporates the first question I referenced above: “Thank you for the opportunity to visit with you. Before we get started will you take a few minutes and share your story.” My words are not always the same, but I always weave in the question about their story.
My second question, because of my profession, is always “What is your biggest issue facing your business?”
My objective when meeting with someone is to get the other person to talk. I believe that every small business person should have several questions to ask and then to “shut-up”, listen and learn.
I stress knowing your WHY and your story, and yes, you can use both when it’s your turn to share. For me, my first contact always has to be more about listening than me talking.
Do you have your questions ready?
Tips & Advice by Nick Petra, CFP – Founder of Strategic Duck and BizQuack
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