Can You Ask That In The Form of a Question?

Do you know the most effective way to sell someone or to get them to alter their point of view? Ask questions.
Can you say that in the form of a question?

I read Daniel Pink’s new book called To Sell Is Human.  It is a clear and concise articulation of the simple yet frequently misunderstood idea that we are all in sales. Everyone from the CEO to the receptionist is part of the sales team trying to develop relationships with current or prospective customers as well as influencers like journalist, bloggers and key thought leaders. 

We are selling ourselves, products, services or ideas most of the day when we engage with others. We sell to our children, spouses, bosses, direct reports, significant others, parents, colleagues and even to the cop that pulls you over for running a red light. We are all trying to move someone from one place to another.

And with information so plentiful in both a B2B and B2C market place, the power shifts are very different from the past when the seller held more of the cards. Think of how much information you have when you buy a car or a TV before you enter a dealer or store. (If you even physically go somewhere to buy).  The playing field has changed.
You might be trying to convince someone of changing their view point and in their hand is a smart phone with access to most of the world’s information.

One particular thread that I pulled out of the themes woven in this book really struck me as extremely insightful. 


Do you asking enough questions when you are talking? 

Imagine you are visiting new customers and have 15 minutes of their time. They may know quite a lot about you and your company before you enter their office. How can you best used you time with them to make a sale?  From reading To Sell is Human and thinking about this, I became aware of a powerful idea that you may be able to use in your next sales call or interaction where you want to move someone closer to your own thinking.


1. Don’t make any statements during your visit or interaction. Only ask questions as if you were an inquisitive 9 year old.  This takes practice but is the trait of the successful and a wise lesson to learn.

Consider a sales call where you conversation is only in question form- like the TV show Jeopardy.

At some points you might be compelled to start you pitch. Don’t do it. Keep asking questions. You can pitch in question form  and it is a more effective method of communicating your product or service benefits. 

   The lesson from this book is clear. We can convince others when we aren't selling but instead are acting like interested human beings trying to learn. Whether it is a customer, journalist or your colleague, stop talking so much as ask interesting questions. It will help identify opportunities. 

   Did I make myself clear?  

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     I am a marketing professional with over 30 years of experience creating success. If you enjoy these blog posts, please sign up to receive them in your email or share them with other marketing friends who might be interested in these topics. Sign up with your email at the top of my blog

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