Be Curious and Ask Questions. This will help you find opportunities. Those who ask the best questions win the business.
Are you asking others (and yourself) the right questions on a daily basis? Years ago I created a list of “Curious Questions” that I try to ask my clients. Some time later I took to asking these same questions of myself. If you put your attention on asking questions, and then you listen for the answers, you will find ways to be able to serve others. When you take these inside, you will discover things about yourself, too.
Asking questions will lead you to developing more business, as you start to make it about the client or prospect, and not about yourself. It is so easy to get stuck in a rut and recite your skills and qualities as part of your business development efforts. Many are trained to create elevator pitches, which are nice in theory, but you would never be in an elevator and just start talking to strangers about yourself. If you did they would run away once the doors open in the lobby. Many people complain about not being able to reach their goals, but they are not doing the client research needed to win the business.
Do you ask good questions on a regular basis? Seeking answers and being curious is paramount to finding things in common and ways you are able to serve. Knowing what really matters to your customers is a good start. Spending time engulfed in activities that do not matter will hold you back. These “Curious Questions” you should expose you to new paths and better results.
The idea is about finding ways to serve. My favorite question is “how can I help”? So often we get so busy we stop being curious about other people and what they need to succeed. Plus if you go through life just looking at the services you offer, you will miss out on other ways to help – which might be in referring other service providers. The most successful lawyers I know regularly refer bankers, accountants, consultants, etc…. Helping others is a key to your own victories, but first you have to know what they need. When others know you are always willing to lend a hand they are more apt to bring you opportunities.
Here are the ten “Curious Questions” that you should be asking. You will not ask all ten in one setting, and you should not just rattle through the list. But once you make it a habit of learning about clients, prospects, and referral sources, you will enjoy the discovery process.
1. What does success look like for you and your company?
2. What brings you joy?
3. How will this deal / case / etc… impact the business?
4. How does your company serve / impact others?
5. If you succeed, how will you feel?
6. What have you learn in the last month?
7. What action do you need to take to succeed?
8. What is the long term goal for you and your company?
9. Who should you meet?
10. Who can you help?
This idea of asking the “Curious Questions” will be new to some people and old hat to others. But are you doing this? I find that when I remember to get over the excitement of talking about myself to a client, and asking questions, I find success.
Try asking these questions for two weeks. You can use these “Curious Questions”, or come up with your own.