Questions are a critical component in the persuasion process. And there are a multitude of reasons why. First off, questions enable you to gain someone’s attention. Have you ever noticed that when someone may be talking to you and going on and on and you find yourself in a position where you’re extremely bored that you can suddenly stop and begin paying attention the minute someone asks you a question?
The reason why is because questions put your target on the defensive because they have to think of how they will answer your question and that serves two great purposes.
The first – which is the one that I just mentioned – is that they gain attention but secondly, is every time your target has to stop and think of how to answer your question, it gives you the opportunity to stop and think about what you’re going to do next. In some cases, that time that you are allotted will enable you to make a decision that can be critical to you gaining the result that you want.
Questions also give your target the ability to speak, which is one of the key aspects of the way people are wired. People simply love to hear themselves talk. In fact, most of the time they are waiting for you to finish speaking so that they can begin. Every time you ask a question you open the door for them to speak about themselves and this will create a mood that makes them feel good about themselves. This opens the door to your ability to create rapport.
Questions are also of great way to keep a person engaged. I have found that one of the best ways to overcome situations where there’s an awkward silence is to begin asking the other person questions. Those questions could be about anything but I continue to ask questions every time I feel as though an awkward silent moment may occur and it will instantly break up the monotony.
Questions also help alleviate distractions. One of the critical rules in the influence process is keeping your target engaged and distractions will work very much against that process taking place. Therefore, it’s your responsibility to divert your target’s attention from whateveris distracting them back to you so that they’re engaged. And you can easily do that with a question that is phrased tactfully enough.
One of the first things that you learn in sales is to ask questions at the beginning of your presentation because they enable you to get all of the objections out in the open so that you can overcome them initially, or prepare yourself to have to overcome them at a later time during the presentation.
Asking questions also will keep you in the driver seat because every time you ask a question and gain a response, you are in control.
You are evoking action in your target when you get them to answer your questions.
Always make sure you know exactly which questions you plan on asking and why.