Asking the right questions to get a customer to open up is the best way to get straight to the mission, and for both you and your customer to enjoy success!
Our webinar, "What's Left Unsaid: What Do Customers REALLY Think?", with Bob London, Founder and CEO of Chief Listening Officers, provided us with easy-to-implement, disruptive questions, and presented useful listening techniques.
Here are some highlights of the session:
Starting with an open-ended question, ask questions that surprise your customer and don't feel like a forced, clichéd question. Instead, use a hook & a twist approach. A hook is something easily relatable or understood from the customer's perspective, and a twist is the timeframe. A great example of a hook & twist question would be, “If a competitor contacted you tomorrow, would you ignore them, or want to learn more?”
If you open up with a reality-based question on your customer's terms, watch the wall break down immediately. It might be hard to ask questions like this the first time, but over time it gets easier! If you're talking more than 20-25% of your sales, you need to mute yourself and start asking better questions.
Four Principals For Radically Authentic Discovery:
Focus on their business, not your product
Your customer is the expert on their product
Ask bold, disruptive questions
We want insights, not cliches
Your job is to learn, not solve
Stay authentically curious
Listen to understand, not respond
If you ask the right questions, your customer will speak from the heart, and you'll get insightful, meaningful feedback. The more you listen, the better you’ll perform in sales. We listen 4x faster than someone can talk. We think ahead, we think ahead, we formulate our response, get defensive: we’re missing an opportunity to learn something new.
Bob also graciously included an extremely helpful slide of great questions to ask, view the questions in the image below to get some inspiration.
If you enjoy this webinar, be sure to check back for more exciting webinars every other week!
About Our Speakers
Bob London, founder and CEO of Chief Listening Officers, teaches customer-facing teams how to use Radically Authentic Discovery (RAD) to have more strategic, insightful conversations with their customers and prospects. RAD features a series of bold, disruptive questions and deep listening techniques, developed based on Bob's experience conducting nearly 2,600 customer discovery conversations.
He is also a regular and passionate writer and speaker on the topic of listening to customers, and his work and writing have been featured in the Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Forbes, the Miami Herald, USA Today, Inc. Magazine, and The Washington Business Journal.
Shashi Bellamkonda is the VP of Marketing at involve.ai. He is known by many as the “social media swami”, and is a marketing leader who has worked with many entrepreneurs and local businesses and taught Digital Marketing Strategy and Marketing Analytics at Georgetown University as an adjunct professor. Shashi has been called the most customer-obsessed marketing leader and continues to educate himself on technology.