A in Breakthrough equals Asking
This is Part four of the twelve part series on learning how to Breakthrough to the Next Level.
A in Breakthrough equals Asking
Asking questions is the trigger for everything else that happens in every breakthrough in your life.
Questions become the trigger mechanism for your growth and understanding about everything around you – organizations, people, family, goals, information and knowledge. The highest level people are the ones that understand the true power of asking questions.
Since most people spent to much time talking, they fail to utilize the power of asking. Asking others about their thoughts, feelings, understanding, needs, wants and ideas will open new doors for your progress and breakthrough to new levels. At this point I have to ask you a question – What percentage of time do you spend asking questions and listening to others answer? If it is less than two thirds of the time, you are missing an opportunity to grow.
If you are a sales person, then the ability to ask questions can separate you from all your competition and can give you a competitive advantage – especially in business to business selling. Asking questions will uncover issues and concerns for customers. Then using more targeted questions will uncover the cost of these issues, problems and concerns. Then, higher level questions will uncover the benefits of correcting or minimizing the problems, issues or concerns for the customer. The interesting factor here is the customer is involved from the very beginning. This fact increases the level of commitment to you by the customer.
This is a very different approach than the one taken by most sales people who move into presentation mode immediately upon any hint of any issue from the customer. This is a mistake since it does not allow the customer to clarify the level or intensity of the issue or pain. Thus no value or need is created by the sales person and the customer is either bored or turned off by the pushy sales person that does not understand my business or personal needs.
Sales people need to learn how to ask questions, practice asking questions and taking notes, watching for tendencies or related issues to specific problems and learn how to be genuine in their concerns for clarity and understanding. After a while, it will become real since it will lead you to success after success. (I know that sounds a little corny, but it is true. We have seen to many sales people move to the top of their company or industry by learning how to ask questions properly.)
Oh, yes, I almost forgot. Asking for action will get the business and the results you need. I have seen sales people who failed to ask for the business during a great customer visit and get frustrated the customer did not buy. Duh! You must ask to get things in life. Very few things are just handed to you if you fail to ask. And, that includes information and knowledge.
If you are a manager or leader, then the ability to ask question can empower your staff and team to perform at higher levels due to much higher employee satisfaction levels. That is correct – higher employee satisfaction levels that have a direct impact upon the performance levels of an organization. Yes, research has shown the only direct relationship between employee satisfaction and higher levels of performance is due to managers and leaders actually listening to the employees opinion about things at work.
The key to realize here, it is the act of listening to people and valuing their input – even if you do not implement what they suggest. It is the act of listening to their opinions with an objective bias. No judging or ridicule of any ideas or comments is allowed if you want high levels of satisfaction and performance. And, in this complex world we work in, there is no way a manager or leader will know everything about everything. Getting input and actively listening will give you an advantage.
In summary, asking for information is a good thing and we encourage you to ask more often assuming you want greater results and a breakthrough year. It all begins with asking questions, closure or actions. What do you need to ask about starting today?