Asking questions of other people is an important part of networking and business development. We all like to hear ourselves talk, but knowing what your clients and prospects want to hear is even more important. I am fond of the expression "you have two ears and one mouth - use them accordingly".
While listening twice as much as you talk is easy in theory, it is hard to execute. Especially if you are in sales. It is a natural tendency to want to share the benefits of your products or services with anyone who will listen. I know! I love to tell stories. But I have found when I ask others about their desires, I gain valuable information that helps me better serve them in the future.
By finding ways to solve problems, you will become a resource. And a resource always wins over some random sales guy!
Here are eight questions that are good to ask of everyone you meet in the business world:
*What is your biggest challenge this year?
*Who is your ideal client or prospect?
*What could happen that would make this month incredibly successful?
*What are your goals this year?
*Where would you like to see your career/business in five years?
*In a perfect world what would your (insert your industry: banker, lawyer, accountant, etc...) be doing for you?
*Who in your business community would you most like to meet?
*What can I do to assist you?
The answers to these questions will allow you to discover ways to add value to anyone you meet. Once you know what others need, look for ways to solve their problems. Once you do this, you will become more valuable to those in your network.
If you do not ask others what they need, you will never know how to give it to them.
Have A Great Day.