Develop the right questions that will affect positive change and generate increased market share
What’s more important, the right questions or the right answers?
Do adults ask more questions than teenagers or children?
What is the reason we ask questions in the first place?
Can we learn to ask better questions?
Here are a few answers.
Estimates vary, but on average, children ask 300 questions a day, with 4-year-old girls asking the most.
Those questions are usually about the world around them and they often start with the word “why”.
Teenagers ask on average 25-50 questions a day and are usually focused on where they fit in the world.
By the time we reach adulthood, many of us “think” we have many of the answers. Of course, some of those answers elude us. But for the most part, most adults stop asking a lot of questions because they either believe they have it figured out (overconfidence), think they are too busy … making a living and paying the bills, or they suffer from what I call “lazy thinking”, the concept that it is easier to let others do the thinking for us.
Eric Schmidt, then CEO of Google, said, “We run this company on questions, not answers.”
What would happen if you ran your organization, your team, on questions, not answers?
We often get so focused on getting the “right” answers that we forget to change the questions.
Ok, so you say you’re not a TTWWADI leader (That’s The Way We’ve Always Done It).
Yet look at the answers you are trying to retrieve.
Is this what your weekly or monthly sales meeting looks like?
Here are five of the most common questions in a sales meeting.
- How much did we sell last week?
- How does that compare to last month and last year?
- What are our obstacles to selling more?
- Why are Joe and Mary making most of the sales?
- What should we be doing differently to sell more?
Questions like these and many others are designed to retrieve specific answers.
And many teams ask them on a routine basis because TTWWADI.
BUT WHAT IF YOUR ORGANIZATION SHIFTED FROM LOOKING FOR THE SAME ANSWERS TO LOOKING FOR DIFFERENT QUESTIONS? WHAT IF YOU ASKED MORE REVEALING QUESTIONS?
WHAT MIGHT THAT LOOK LIKE?
Now here’s a warning… many of your salespeople and even leaders will say that it is not necessary to change the questions. They have worked well up until now, so why change them.
Of course, you know, that is TTWWADI thinking. Let your organization know that there are NO-WRONG-ANSWERS. That this is just an experiment to find ways for them to be able to sell more and be more productive and better enjoy the sales process. Tell them they can feel completely confident in being as honest as they can with absolutely no repercussions. Even with this qualifier and knowing you’ll get some pushback, here are the first 5 revealing questions to ask your team:
- If this was your company, organization, or team what would you do differently to increase profits (sales), productivity and performance (employee engagement)?
- What is the biggest action or process we are doing wrong that is keeping us from growing our sales?
- What are we doing right that everyone on the team should be doing?
- What is our competition doing right that we can do even better?
- What would happen if we considered using Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, or Data Mining in our organization?
This is just the first five. Take the time with your organization or team to answer these questions and brainstorm 5 more revealing questions that can drive the results you REALLY WANT.
As your organization and teams build your REVEALING QUESTIONS muscle, you’ll notice your sales, productivity and employee engagement increasing.
BECAUSE WHEN YOU START TO ASK REVEALING QUESTIONS YOU’LL GET REVEALING ANSWERS.