Today we’re going to talk about the four questions that lead to new business. This is probably the question or the situation that I get asked from clients the most. Any professional that has been working in the field for any length of time is really comfortable in going out, networking, making connections, but ultimately they kind of hit a wall where they’ve made these connections and they may be a little perplexed or they don’t know how to turn that connection or direct the conversation towards an opportunity that they can help with.
They don’t want to be seen pushy, they don’t want to be somebody that’s seen as kind of a vulture that’s always looking to be selling. At the same time they don’t know how to actually direct the conversation, the relationship to a point when opportunity becomes obvious.
These four questions are designed specifically for that. You can be natural and you can be professional, just make some inquiries and have the client answer them. In fact, if there is an opportunity it’s going to rise to the surface and then you can take it to the next step, which is having a specific conversation to that opportunity.
Question Number 1 : “What Has Made You Successful?”
Let’s start with number one, the very first question that I’m going to use as the example, can be used in any type of setting as you are talking with a client. These are going to be prescribed to you, use them, encourage them, get used to them, and make them your own. It would be a question to the effect of, “What’s made you successful?” Or, “What’s made you successful to this point?” A lot of people feel complimented by you asking them that question, because right out of the gate they just assume you’re intelligent because you’ve obviously recognized that they have been successful, which is always kind of a nice feeling. If you think behind the scenes, what that’s asking the person to think about is why they’ve been successful and what are the factors that go into that? That’s going to tell you a lot about their business, their situation, what they care about, and what they value as important.
Question Number 2: “How Are You Different or Unique?”
Question number two is going to be, how are you different or how are you unique? That’s a really interesting one because it’s going to find out how they’re different from their competitors or the other people that they compare themselves to this is really, really valuable.
Question Number 3:“What Are You Excited About Over The Next Year or Eighteen Months?”
Question number three is going to be kind of a really deep one, but if we do it in a proper way it’s really revealing. That question is, what are you excited about over the next year or eighteen months? You think about it, I’m kind of asking them what are your goals, what are you striving to? But, it’s in a very professional, non-pressure, non-cheesy way. What are you excited about? What are you looking forward to?
The second part of why that’s important is its forward facing, it’s not backward facing. It’s not, “How was your last year? How was business? How was this summer? How was your winter? How were your holidays?” It’s something that’s actually future driven, something that I actually want to be able to help them with. Number one is what are you good at, what’s made you successful? Number two is what makes you different or unique? Number three is what are you excited about?
Question Number 4: “What Keys Are Important To Ensure That That’s Actually Going To Happen?”
Really, all three of the previous questions set up to ask the question I really want to ask, “what keys are important to ensuring that that actually happens, or that it happens faster?” The interesting part here is the answers to this will show you what’s important to that person, what the keys are, what the factors that they consider important to achieving those things are and, the things that they’re excited about. The interesting part is if it’s something that you can help with, that’s where it’s going to arise.
The Final Question: “Would You Like Me To Help You With That?”
Then it becomes really easy to ask the very simple and final question, would you like me to help you with that? If it’s something that you can’t help with, obviously there’s no opportunity, there’s nothing there. If there is an opportunity that you can help with, that’s where it’s going to arise. You haven’t pushed, you haven’t been sleazy, you’ve been super professional. In fact, if it’s something that you can help with that you don’t do, the worse case scenario is just that you can refer them to somebody else that you know that can add some value. You’ve served them incredibly well just by having four very strategic questions.
Today we covered the four questions that lead to opportunities when you’re making connections.
- What made you successful?
- How are you different? How are you unique?
- What are you excited about over the next year or so?
- What are the key components that need to happen to make sure that that happens or that it happens faster?
Hopefully this was helpful. How do those fit in for your business? Is there one question that doesn’t fit in? Is there a question that totally fits in? I would love your comments. Put them in the comments below and give me some feedback.
Until next time, I’m Rich Scott