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Chartered Accountants & Business Development Advisers
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Make well-crafted questions work for you and your business and have more buyers say yes…

Well crafted questions will massively improve your conversations with your customers and prospects.

But how well do you prepare for your business discussions?

If you already know the outcome you want to achieve from a meeting, it pays to prepare well the questions you need to ask to achieve that outcome.

But do you prepare your questions? Do you write them down beforehand?

Using the right questions, at the right time, will help you get the result you want from the discussion.

Here are 5 steps to help you prepare the right questions and deliver them successfully in your next business meetings.

1) Generate 20 open questions 

Make this easier by using these open questions – What – Where – When – How – Who and Why.

Write 20 questions down that start with one of these words. Remember you don’t have to stop at 20 – if you have more – keep going – The more you prepare the better.

2) Work out some carefully worded yes-tag questions 

You want to start your conversation with your buyer on the a positive note and put them in the right frame of mind. These questions show them that you are positive too and create a great atmosphere to start the meeting.

3) Give your buyer choices

Give you buyer a number of alternatives at the end of the conversation. Create choices by using closed questions allowing your buyer to choose. For example: Do you want us to deliver to your office or factory site? – Would you like the first delivery this week or next?

Everyone likes to be offered alternatives to choose from – it gives your buyer a sense of control – but you still win…

4) Practice using your ‘get out of jail free’ phrase 

When the conversation does not go to plan or has reached a bit of a stalemate, fall back on the phrase ‘Tell me’ – use this as a trigger to a strong open question. It is less confrontational than ‘why’ and is a simple but powerful questioning skill.

5) One of the oldest questions around

The conversation can become out of control from your point of view if the buyer starts asking all the questions.

To regain control, practice answering a question with a question.

For example:

Question: “How quickly can you get it delivered to my office?”

Your answer: “Tell me, how quickly do you need it delivered?”

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