Get To The Core By Asking High impact Questions
Prospects’ buying interests are often hidden, sometimes intentionally, sometimes unintentionally. The best way to elicit these interests is to ask well-developed, open-ended, “high impact” questions. These enable the prospects to explain their thinking, share their pain, reveal their motivations, and express their ideals. Most important high impact questions add value to both parties. They unveil unmet needs and interests. They reveal problems and their associated impacts. They uncover opportunities to add value.
Best practices refers to these questions as “inner core” and “outer core” because they probe different layers and therefore elicit responses based on different perspectives of an organization.
The Inner Core:
At the center of high impact questions are queries about issues, challenges and opportunities. These questions explore "root causes”, looking inside the issues to see what is at their foundation.
Inner Core questions include:
- What is your number one challenge right now?
- What are the possible causes of…?
- What opportunities do you most seek?
The Outer Core:
Surrounding the inner core is an outer core that considers the impacts and implications of the topics of the inner core. At this layer, the questions focus on the effects, the consequences of issues challenges and opportunities.
Outer Core questions include:
- How are you impacted by?
- What are the implications of?
- What is the relationship between?
Using the inner/outer core as a guideline will assist you in building credibility with the prospect. You must ask informed questions, demonstrate an understanding of the buyer’s needs and demonstrate the ability to meet those needs through well thought out solutions that reflect the values of the prospect.