4 (Worse Than) Useless Questions You Don’t Want to Ask Prospects
Questions are potent ways to engage prospects and foster conversations. But not all questions are useful, effective, or even appropriate. In fact, some kinds of questions will shut things down faster than a DEA agent busting a meth lab. If you’re using any of these, you might find that you’re off the phone and onto the next call before you can even clear your throat.
“What do you know about our agency?”
You’ve got a busy person on the phone, willing to give you a minute of their time because it might have value to their business. They probably don’t care about your agency, great markets, superior knowhow, and all the attentive service you’re ready to lavish on them. Don’t waste time talking about you, find out about their situation, their needs, their buying attitudes. Continue reading →
Imagine that you’re leaving your office building at the end of the day and you see a guy grab a woman’s purse and run down the block. You’re feeling fit and know you can easily catch him and retrieve the purse but you’re carrying a heavy briefcase full of paperwork. There are two people standing beside the entrance there – you don’t know either, but one person is somewhat familiar because you’ve seen him a couple of times in the elevator. Which one do you ask to watch your briefcase so you can catch the thief?
Studies show, and most people would agree, that the (even slightly) familiar person is the one you’re most likely to trust with your briefcase. This is an example of what social scientists refer to as the Familiarity Principle or the Mere Exposure Effect. Continue reading →
We see it everywhere: 146 tweets, 289 FB likes, 82 five star ratings. And that’s just some of the online examples of how pervasively we value others’ opinions to help us select what to pay attention to in the overwhelming abundance of worldly information.
“When people are confused or uncertain about what course to take they don’t look inside themselves, for an answer – they look outside…to people just like them. And since it’s hard to see what ‘everybody’s’ doing, we look at symbols, and icons, and heroes who we impute the ‘just like me’ quality to…”
~ Robert Cialdini
Social psychologist Robert Cialdini is of the world’s leading experts on influence and persuasion. He’s been studying and touting the importance of social validation and other motivating influences for the last two decades. When people are faced with choices, he observes, our social brain looks for guidance to see what others are doing. Continue reading →
What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say – Ralph Waldo Emerson
A dismissive shrug of the shoulders. An impatiently tapping finger. A child with crossed legs, squirming like a centipede. These more or less involuntary movements speak for themselves: I don’t care; hurry up already; I have to use the bathroom right now.
If only all nonverbal cues lacked subtlety. Then you’d never be stuck trying to discern whether a prospect needs a little more hand holding or more breathing room; whether a client has one foot out the door or is eager to deepen your working relationship. You’d win every Saturday night poker game.
Last issue, we talked about the treasure trove of information hidden within facial expressions and head positioning. This time, we’ll take you by the shoulder and point your feet in the right direction. Continue reading →