Make Genuine Connections with These 10 "Feel-Good" Questions 
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Make Genuine Connections with These 10 "Feel-Good" Questions 

Make Genuine Connections with These 10

Sales is first and foremost about genuine connection. Once the connection is made, trust is the natural result. And this trust is what creates the “benevolent context” for a sale to occur.

While this connection might take place during your sales presentation, it typically begins well before then—during the first time you meet, whether by telephone, on Zoom, or in person. This connection is accelerated by a powerful conversation, one in which the other person feels valued and important right from the start. And the responsibility for ensuring that happens is yours.

So, want to be a great conversationalist? Then let the other person talk, while you genuinely listen. Remember: Nobody ever hangs up the phone on you while they are talking. Same on Zoom. Same in person. So let them talk... about themselves, and their interests. And, of course, “their interests” is themself.

Example: You meet someone at a local business or social event. You introduce yourself and exchange names. You ask what they do and they tell you, asking you the same. Once you answer, gently turn the focus back on the other person, preparing to let them talk about themself 99% of the time, while you genuinely listen.

To do this, you’ll have to ask questions. But not just any questions. I suggest asking what I call “Feel-Good Questions.” These questions are not sales-y, they’re not prospect-y, they’re not intrusive, and they’re not invasive. They’re simply questions that make people feel good about themselves, about the conversation… and about you!

These questions very quickly build rapport with that person and attract them to you; they immediately see you as a person of value, someone they want to have as part of their sphere of influence. They are the first step toward achieving the all-important results you want from that person. You’ll find a remarkable difference in their response—as opposed to others they meet who talk mostly about themselves and their business.

My Golden Rule of Sales is that, “All things being equal, people will do business with, and refer business to, the people they know, like, and trust.”

Feel-Good Question #1: “How did you get started in the {person’s specific} business?”

No, it’s not a particularly clever or slick question. And there’s no need for it to be. It’s actually very mundane. But it’s a question people love to answer. Why? Because you’re asking them to share their story. This is not something they’re typically asked to do, and they appreciate it!

Feel-Good Question #2: “What do you enjoy most about what you do?”

This is a question that usually elicits a great feeling in the other person! And remember, when they feel great about themselves, by extension, they feel great about you.

Okay, now that a good rapport has been established it’s time to ask the question that will set you apart—that will distinguish you—from practically everyone else they’ve ever met. I call it The “One Key Question,” and it goes like this:

“{Name}, How can I know if someone I’m speaking with is a good customer for you?” {Or prospect, client, or connection, depending upon their line of work.}

What have you accomplished by asking that question? Two things. First, you’ve continued to establish yourself as being different from anyone they’ve ever met, i.e., those who seem only to want to sell them their product or service. But not you. Instead, you’re communicating that your interest is in helping them. And that is always acceptable—and very welcome.

Second, the way you’ve framed the question will help them to answer in a way that will actually help you to help them. For example, say you’re speaking with Mary, who sells copying machines to businesses. You ask her, “Mary, how can I know if someone I’m speaking with is a good client for you?”

She thinks about it for a moment (she’s never been asked this before!) and finally says, “Well, if you’re ever in an office and notice a copying machine, and next to it is a wastepaper basket that’s filled to the brim and overflowing with crumpled-up pieces of paper, that’s a good sign that copying machine has been breaking down a lot lately. That would be an excellent prospect for me.”

So Mary has just told you—explained to you—how to look out for her best interests, how to bring value to her life, and how to make her life more productive and profitable. And she appreciates the fact that you asked. Fantastic conversation!

This conversation, of course, is only the beginning of the relationship-building process. But it’s a powerful beginning, creating the aforementioned “benevolent context for success” whether for your ensuing immediate sales presentation or for your effective follow-up and follow-through.

P.S. — I have a list of 10 Feel-Good Questions in my arsenal but you’ll never have time to ask all 10 in any one conversation. And even if you do have time, please don’t. As powerful as these questions are, if you ask any more than two or three at a time you will come across like an investigative reporter, and you don’t want to do that.

Bob Burg is a Hall of Fame Speaker and author of the international bestselling business parable, The Go-Giver, which has sold well over 1 million books and been translated into 30 languages. Learn more by visiting his website, where you can subscribe to his “Daily Impact” email.

Published: February 20th, 2023

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