Framing the Question

Hi Persuader,

Try this: I’m sure you’ll get it real quick but because you’re all such good folks out there, I want you to spell the word ‘folk’ three times. Do it right now in your mind. Spell the word ‘folk’ three times as fast as you can.

Now what do you call the white part of an egg?

Did you say yolk? Really?

Are you asking your prospects the right questions to get to their deepest values and criteria? When we elicit criteria, if we’re doing it right, our prospects don’t understand what they are really giving us.

So how can we make the most of each question we ask? An extremely important thing to remember is that the questions cause the answer. What does that mean? It means that as we learn to better ask the question, we’re going to be a lot better at making persuasion happen.

If I were to look at you as a brand new client, and you’ve never bought anything from me before and let’s say I’m an advisor and I’m there to help you with wealth planning throughout your generations and I say, “Would you just tell me the two or three things that you need to hear me say today to make you buy? Just tell me so that we can get this part out of the way. Go ahead. I’m listening.”

What would happen? That’s right. Nothing. They’d probably either tell you to leave or they’d get up and walk out. Yet magically, when we elicit their criteria, they gladly give that very same information to us.

Why? Well, to an extent, it’s disguised.

Your prospect does not understand what they’re giving you when you ask this way. They don’t get it. Once in a blue moon you’ll find someone giving you resistance to this, but it doesn’t happen often.

Even if they did understand what they were giving us, it is socially correct and absolutely acceptable to find out what they need prior to recommending a product or service. Doctors don’t just prescribe medicine prior to finding out about your history, finding out if you have allergies or without finding out why you’re there to see them. Neither do consultants, lawyers, or sales people. We simply cannot give people any recommendation if we don’t know what they want or need.

Here’s the point and this is important: we’re setting people’s minds up so that we can enter them and we can get them to do what we want them to do. We can set them going along a direction that when we interrupt that direction, we can cause them to immediately, as if it was always so, go along with what we’re saying. (What’s the white part of an egg called?)

When I ask you ‘what’s important about X?’ or ‘if I were a magician and I had a magic wand and I could wave it and get you anything in business you want, what would it be?’ I’m listening very intently for where you have the strongest emotional reaction to one of the words that you’re saying.

We’re opening the people’s minds. We’re opening them to their own desires, to their own things.

Until Next Time,

Kenrick E. Cleveland

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Scott - June 2, 2008

I am a Realtor and I used this technique in my listing presentation. I simply asked “what is important to you when you hire a Realtor” and then I shut up and let them tell me everything. It was amazing. It was very easy to close because there was no dog and pony show just me repeating back what was important to them.


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