Since writing a chapter in my book “21 Days to Success through Networking” about questions, I’ve given a lot of thought to the subject.
Questions are powerful.
I mean, really powerful. They may not tell people what to think, but they sure can tell people what to think about.
Let me explain.
First of all, there are several reasons to ask questions–to gather information, to assess understanding, to manipulate behavior–or most powerfully, to get people to think.
I’ll explain more about the different types of questions and their uses and purposes in a later post, but consider the idea that the questions you ask can get people to think about things that they wouldn’t have thought of anyway.
Consider this: You’re selling a product or service. Let’s say it’s insurance. The person is excited (if you can imagine!) about buying a policy to protect his family. You ask, “Are you sure this policy will fit your budget?”
Maybe you asked because you want to better understand your customer.
But, it’s entirely possible that the client will take your question, rethink his decision to buy, and cancel the transaction. “No, I’m not sure that it will fit my budget.”
Bummer. You may have lost out on something great because of your question.
Your intent doesn’t mean anything–their perception means everything.
Questions are powerful. Be careful how you use them.