In the medical profession, it is known that prescription without diagnosis is malpractice. The same is true for Business Attraction Magnets.  We must ask a variety of open-ended questions to diagnose the situation, so our recommendation (prescription) will meet the need.

 “The art and science of asking questions is the source of all knowledge.”   - Thomas Berger

There is a classic story, told in sales circles, of the inept salesman trying to explain to his boss why he closed only one sale per month.  “You know, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink,” the salesman says, shrugging his shoulders.  “Make him drink?” the manager replies.  “Your job is to make him thirsty.” That sounds good enough, but there’s a fundamental oversight here: Clients and prospects are already “thirsty.”  They are thirsty for peace of mind, pleasure, profit, prestige, pain avoidance, and power.  They are thirsty for progress.  We must uncover others’ particular parameters for progress if we hope to make them thirsty for the progress we offer. 

The most powerful way to uncover the prospect's parameters for progress is to ask open-ended questions.  These questions commonly include the basics of: 

-        Who

-        What

-        Where

-        Why

-        When

-         How

Solid Open-Ended Questions

Find your own voice when asking these questions.   We must be truly interested in finding a way to help. 

1.  How did you get interested in your line of work?

2.  If a journalist were to write about what’s been happening in your industry over the past six months, what might they write?

3.   I connect with new people all the time; how would I  know if someone qualified as a solid contact for you?

4.  How would you define progress for you/your business?

5.  What major shifts do you foresee in your industry? 

6.  Where do you see your greatest challenges?

7.  Why do these challenges persist?

8.  What difficulties will you face if you don't meet these challenges?

9.  What actions are you taking to overcome these challenges?

10. What results are you expecting?

11. Who is involved in the decision-making process?

12.  If you could solve these challenges, what kind of progress would you make?

Also, encourage prospects and clients to expand on their answers by asking:

            Would you tell me more about that?

            Could you please elaborate?

            Could you clarify…?

            How so?

            What did you mean when you said…?

Do not ask too many questions or ask them at a rocket-fire clip.  People should not feel they are being interrogated.  Being interrogated is neither attractive nor enjoyable.


Contributed by:  Dean Lindsay, Award Winning Speaker and Author of The Progress Challenge & Co-Author of Stepping Stones to Success   

Dean Lindsay, Sales and Leadership Speaker