People buy from people they know, like and trust.
This is one of those business clichés that makes it into the ‘If I had a dollar for every time I’d heard this’ categories. Right? I’m sure you’ve heard it bandied about, possibly even by me.
But what’s it really about? Connection. Authentic, person to person connection. And yes, it’s critical to moving sales forward. Because we really do buy from people we know, like and trust.
So how do you get to that stage in a relationship? And how do you actually build those relationships?
You ask questions. And you listen to the answers. Because people really just want to be heard. And when you ask questions thoughtfully, and really, truly listen to the answers, you’d be amazed at how you’ll be able to build connection.
Connection Starts by Asking the Right Questions
It starts with rapport questions, moves to getting-to-know-you questions and continues with clarity and understanding questions. Andrew Sobel and Jerold Panas wrote an entire book on the questions everyone needs to be able to ask to get ahead not just in business, but in life as well. Power Questions is one of my favorite books and I whole-heartedly recommend it. (It's even up there on this blog's page banner!)
Here are just some of them:
How did you get started in . . . ?
What has given you the greatest fulfilment in life?
What do you think about . . . ?
How will this move you forward?
What did you learn?
Don’t Forget the Compelling Questions
But let’s not forget the compelling questions that really help you keep control of the conversation, sales or otherwise. These are the questions that make your conversation partner think about their needs, but answer in terms of your needs. More about that in this post. And once you’ve asked the questions that gain you that essential trust, you can deploy these compelling questions to move the conversation forward.
Followed closely by: “Can you tell me more about that?”
And if you carry on listening, deeply and intently this is where the magic happens. It’s this empathy that solidifies the connection between two people that then makes all sorts of things work personally and professionally.
So whether you’re asking 5 questions, or 15 questions, if you’re really listening to the answers you’re making headway. You’re forging that connection between human beings that is so essential to business, life, and well, humanity.