Don’t ask just to ask

Ask to understand. What’s the difference? It’s huge I’d say. If you ask just to ask you might risk coming out as in the example I wrote about the other day.

So how can you get on top of this? One good and simple way is to ask a question of a different nature. I choose to call them ‘Control questions’ and has nothing to do with controlling the customer. The control is all you. How? It’s to make sure the you have understood what the customer is telling you in the right way…

It’s no rocket science really. But I’ve found when I’ve coached sales people over the years that it’s often the simplest things that never gets done. We tend to forget over time. That’s why sales training shouldn’t be seen as a quick fix but a constant need over time.

There are actually different ways to get even this ‘out there’. There’s a big difference how you say it and what comes across. Here’s an example:

-I don’t get you…

This is a way of putting blame. Saying that its not your fault that you don’t follow. It doesn’t really create a comfy atmosphere if you see what I mean. Furthermore this isn’t even a question, its more a statement. So how should you ask instead? Here’s one alternative:

-Have I understood you right if…

This way of asking a control question puts any possible guilt that could be in the air on you and creates a whole different atmosphere.

Here’s todays task for you:

  1. The next time you are in a conversation. Take time and ask yourself first of all if you think that you’ve understood the customer right. When you’ve done that go ahead and phrase your control question to the customer and see if you actually had

Instead of guessing – there are simple ways to actually know. This is one of them. But again – you’ve got to put your heart to it.


Author: Daniel Bergqvist

Dad of three, husband, entrepreneur, keynote speaker, marketeer and more. Love life with family, friends and work. A heart for change and sales.