[5 Pillars of Influence Article Series] Article #10 ~ Ask Questions During a Discovery Conversation
You can’t tell people that you’re the right mentor for them. They’ll just get defensive and resist. You have to influence them so that they have that thought themselves. If the idea to work with you is their own, they’ll listen to it.
If you position yourself correctly to your ideal clients (Pillars 1-3), and then apply the 4th Pillar, this will happen automatically, and they will want to do business with you.
How do you apply the 4th Pillar?
You ask them questions during a discovery conversation that lead them to connect powerfully with their own truth.
The Discovery Conversation
During this conversation, two things need to take place simultaneously:
1. Control. You must control the conversation. This is essential for influence.
2. Discovery. You need to discover where they are in relationship to what they want and don’t want. Where are they in relationship to the problem?
You accomplish both of those goals by asking questions.
If You’re Telling, You’re Not Selling
Notice that I said you’re asking questions. You’re not telling them what to do or how they should be thinking about their problem or even what their problem is.
The old adage: “If you’re telling, you’re not selling” is 100% accurate. There are very few times during a sales conversation when you tell the prospects anything.
The first is in the beginning when you set up the parameters of the conversation.
And the second is at the end, when you tell them that you need their credit card and a signed contract.
Now, a couple of times you may need to move the conversation in another direction. You have to give it a little jolt because it got off course.
Why Are Questions so Important?
When you tell people what’s wrong with them or what they need, they get defensive, like I said. They go into their stories, and try to escape.
That’s when you’ll start to hear “objections,” such as they can’t afford it or it’s not the right time or they need to think about it.
The real issue is that they’re not clear yet. They likely don’t understand what their actual problem is, and they definitely can’t see its solution.
But no amount of you telling them what that problem is will bring them to clarity.
Asking them questions, however, can.
When you ask questions, you’re in your power, and you also put them in theirs.
Your questions uplift them. They lift up in their mind a different way of thinking about their problem, and they begin to connect the dots.
If you’ve followed the 4th Pillar, as I’m laying it out, they can finally see the true nature of their problem as well as its solution.
So what exactly do you ask them?
I’ll share those four questions with you next time.