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The Art of Asking Questions

Asking Good Questions

If you have ever been to a morning meeting at Acquirent, you would hear that we believe great sales people have 5 key characteristics in common.  This includes:

  1. Exuding an undying positive attitude
  2. Asking great questions
  3. Shutting up and listening
  4. Having tremendous product and industry knowledge
  5. Being Gritty

For the last 12 years, we have worked hard to surround ourselves with individuals with these exact characteristics.  The one trait that should be the easiest (on paper) to be good at in “asking great questions”.  It sounds easy…. Just be quite and listen.  How hard is that right?  Well, it turns out there is actually an art behind this critical skill.

Recently, in one of our leadership development workshops Acquirent management team and future leaders watched a TEDx talk called The Art of Asking Questions by Dan Moulthrop.  In his talk, Dan goes through the steps of becoming a great listener.

Steps For Asking Good Questions

  1. Don’t Be Afraid – This is tough… people fear rejection and failure. This fear often holds individuals back from asking questions.
  2. Be Curious – the best questions come from people who are actually curious to find answers.
  3. Try The Obvious Question – sometimes the most important question is the obvious one. Don’t just assume!
  4. Words Matter – The words you use matter a lot!
  5. Strive for Empathy – you need to reach to see things from the other persons view point.
  6. Be Informed – Don’t ask questions they have already answered elsewhere. Know your product!
  7. Be Simple – In sales, we often try to sound very important by asking complicated questions. Stop… try asking Dan’s favorite question: What’s that like for you?
  8. Be Gracious – be sincere and gracious for the other individual’s time!

Being able to ask great questions is key to being a great sales person.  Dan’s points above are tremendously important and should be implemented no matter if you are asking questions in your personal or professional life.

Happy Selling!