Open & Closed Ended Questions. . . use BOTH

Are you still waiting for your conversations to get off the ground?

I guess I should start with my definition of what a “conversation” is before we go into anything else!

Conversation (Lynn’s Definition) = an exchange of ideas between two or more people.

That means it can’t be the salesperson:

  • delivering a monologue.
  • firing questions off like a machine gun.
  • not having continuity between the prospect’s answer and the next question.

This may seem silly but I listen to all three of those when I observe salespeople on the phone with their prospects and/or customers. Even more strange is that those exact same people can carry on a reasonable conversation with me!

Then I noticed something… many training programs stress ALWAYS asking open ended questions, that allow the other person to easily expand on their answer. UNFORTUNATELY that is not how any of us speak!

Think of a conversation with friends, significant others, and family: it is a mix of both open and close ended questions!

  • you: “want to go to the movies?”
  • them: “sure”
  • you: “what would you like to see?”

see – combination! and it allows the ideas to flow between the two of you (assuming you wanted to go to the movies in the first place).

The key is to always have a planned follow up question to their short answer (and have it be open ended)!

That isn’t too hard..

  • you: “want to go to the movies?”
  • them: “nahh, nothing I want to see”‘
  • you: “what would you like to do?”

Start having conversations by mixing it up in your sales world too!

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