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Standards of Conduct
Common Questions and Answers
In selling and in networking we are told that asking questions is the right thing to do.
And it is.
… and before you know it, you are in interrogation mode.
When you ask questions you should to be aiming to create a conversation.
Sometimes if you get nervous it’s tempting to keep asking questions — as that sort of puts you in control of the communication flow, and gives you something to say.
But that can be dangerous, because the other person can easily lose interest if they think all you are doing is “digging for gold” — looking for information you can use to sell to them.
Suddenly your prospect gets turned off and feels like they are being manipulated.
The answer is to make sure you share information as you ask your questions.
Sounds simple… but in reality sharing information and maintaining a free flowing discussion is quite challenging.
You need to read the conversation and know when it is appropriate to add some extra information without interrupting what the other person is saying.
Very important note: During this conversation you are not really selling, you are exploring. Your objective should be to find out more about the other person.
For networking: You want to know how you can help the other person, and how they may be related to your business activities (e.g. would they make a good referrer?).
For selling: You want to fully explore their situation and understand their requirements so you can effectively handle the sales discussion. And you need to know that before you present your products, services, or solutions to them.
Asking questions is very important.
Even more important is ‘how’ you ask the questions and your ability to maintain a free flowing conversation that allows you to be authentic and really get to understand the other person, their priorities, and their concerns.
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