Category: Y Get Arts

The Surprising Power of Questions

I ran across this article written by Alison Wood Brooks and Leslie K. John in the HBR’ 10 Must Reads 2020

The original article was posted in 2018 and you can click here to read it.

Some of the key points in the HBR article.

  • The type, tone, sequence, and framing of questions also matter
  • There are four types of questions: introductory, mirror, full-switch, and follow-up
  • Know when to keep questions open-ended (because nobody likes to feel interrogated)
  • Conversational goals matter
  • Conversational goals differ from when we are asking or answering
  • Get the sequence of the questions right
  • Use the right tone
  • Pay attention to the group
  • The best response
  • Deciding what to share
  • Deciding what to keep private

I recommend the read and of course the book.

Sales Impact of Questions

There’s also a mention on page 9 about Gong.io finding out a few interesting things about sales calls from a large data set of over 500,000 conversations.

  • Top performers tend to scatter questions throughout the sales call
  • Lower performers front load questions.

Both sources point out the importance of not making the other person feel like they’re being interrogated.

They were able to identify the optimal number of sales questions before a diminishing return.

What is the optimal number of sales questions?

Can you guess what the number was?

You can find the answer to that in our first survey of The Thrive Club here

If you’re not yet a member of The Thrive Club join now. It is free to the first 1000 people.

My thoughts and opinions

I think and feel one of the biggest business growth mistakes we make is not understanding when a conversation is a marketing one versus sales.

They really are two types of conversations.

The marketing conversation is about explaining who we are and what we do. The main target of that conversation is simply to spark interest. Is this person interested in what we have to offer? Yes, no, maybe? Those tend to be the three outcomes.

The sales conversation is about finding out can they afford our product/service? If yes, then we can go deeper. If not, then why are we talking to them? If they can afford us – are they ready to buy? Do they have questions prior to a purchase? And are they a healthy customer for us?

What are your thoughts and opinions on the topic?

Margins Matter: How to solve internal battles over sales and marketing during a pandemic.

Margins Matter: How to solve internal battles over sales and marketing during a pandemic.

The bottom line is everyone has a bias when it comes to which is more important sales or marketing.

Even in normal times, there would be open battles and disagreements brewing under the surface.

Now, add in a pandemic.

Then things which were brewing under the surface come are harder for people to hide. They spill out. The conflict goes from subtle to open warfare.

Here’s the truth.

Both sales and marketing are important.

The degree to which is more important depends on where you are in the phase of a business or product line.

In the beginning, awareness will be more important than sales.

Eventually, sales will be more important than awareness.

So, how do we solve the internal battle during a pandemic?

Remember, everyone is concerned that they may lose their job, through no fault of their own.

So they naturally start to protect their turf.

Sales people will say they’re critical.

Marketing people will say they’re not disposable.

Get everyone to understand to focus on margins.

Force the sales people to make decisions based on the best margins.

Guide the marketing people to create ideas for increasing margins.

Margins let us know the amount of profit we are or are not making – as a team!

Understanding margins takes some time.

It doesn’t happen overnight.

In simple terms – the margin is what % of a dollar in that remains in our pocket.

The sales person will believe that more sales are always better.

However, a seasoned CEO understands sales that can’t be properly serviced end up being a drain on margins.

The marketing person will believe more exposure is always better.

However, exposing ourselves to people who will never be a customer ends up being a waste of time and resources.

If you would like to get our general tips on understanding margins for your unique business- send us a message.

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