Ask Questions to Build Credibility

Medicate First, Ask Questions Later

Asking questions builds more credibility than presenting facts or making statements.  How would you feel if your doctor started the conversation with your nose is red you look like you have an headache.  I am going to give you this shot   A good doctor will start the conversation with diagnostic questions such as what brought you into the office or on a scale of 1-10 can you rate your pain?  In the same way a great consultant or sales person builds credibility and later a relationship by asking great questions.

My interest in asking great questions started with training and later a book by Tom Freese, the author of Question Based Selling.  Below are 13 questions I recommend that my consulting teams ask in order to build credibility with the goal of making customers comfortable enough to allow them to help them solve their problems.

  1. What experiences have you had with this technology, or company etc.?
  2. What are the internal or external forces causing your organization to change?
  3. What is your #1 priority this year?
  4. What changes do you expect to make in response to XXX?
  5. Which is most important A or B?
  6. Who else is concerned about this?
  7. What is the extent of XXX problem in your organization?
  8. What are the implications of not addressing this issue?
  9. How will you measure success?
  10. How do you value a new client?
  11. What will your decision criteria be?  For instance are you in charge of the technical decision but somebody else is in charge of the financial decision or contractual T&Cs?
  12. What has to happen before we accomplish XXX?
  13. What lead you to that decision?
  14. When you say it is too expensive do you mean above your budget or more than your perceived value?

Please comment and add your best questions.