People usually ask a question for a reason. It is often helpful to understand the reason before answering the question. Let’s imagine the following two scenarios playing out:
- Client: “Are you working on many other projects at this time?”Consultant: “Yes, we are working on quite a few large deals right now.”Client: “Too bad, we won’t be able to work with you. Last time we had a consultant he was so busy working on other things, he didn’t give us the focus we really needed—and we don’t want to repeat the same mistake again. Sorry.”
- Client: “Are you working on many other projects at this time?”Consultant: “No, we’re focusing on a few projects at a time.”Client: “Too bad. We won’t be able to work with you. We really need a partner who is highly visible, and has a high-profile in the community. Sorry.”
The skill of redirection helps get to the question behind the question, before we place ourselves into a corner:
Client: “Are you working on any other projects at this time?”
Consultant redirects: “I’d certainly be happy to share relevant information with you. And before I go too far, I’m sensing you’re asking the question for a particular reason. Can you help me understand what that reason is?”
Sales Tactics – Mastering the Art and Science of Asking Effective Questions « The Edge of the Wedge.