GS Logo
The Green Sheet, Inc

Please Log in

A Thing
View Archives

View PDF of this issue

Care to Share?


Table of Contents

Lead Story

Financing options proliferate in payments sphere

News

Industry Update

It's a Square world after all

Patent infringement ruling favors card brands

PCI SSC releases encryption update

NY attorney general files suit against POS leasing firm

Trade Association News

Features

Harnessing the power of questions

The art of social media speak

Selling Prepaid

Prepaid in brief

What prepaid can learn from the EPA

Plastic Jungle unlocks new meaning of money

Views

Mobile technology and the acquiring chain

Mustafa Shehabi
PayCube Inc.

Education

Street SmartsSM:
How to avoid that 'What just happened?' moment

Jeff Fortney
Clearent LLC

Experts reveal their social media strategies

Peggy Bekavac Olson
Strategic Marketing

Ace your sales interview

Alan Kleinman
Meritus Payment Solutions

Don't let your processor do this to you

Adam Atlas
Attorney at Law

Are you leaving your mark on merchants?

Steve Norell
US Merchant Services Inc.

New Products

Award-winning network security system

Phoenix PaySecure
Phoenix Managed Networks

Loyalty packs a punch

vPunch Rewards
vPromos Inc.

Inspiration

Go with the tech flow

Departments

10 Years ago in
The Green Sheet

Forum

Resource Guide

Datebook

A Bigger Thing

The Green Sheet Online Edition

May 14, 2012  •  Issue 12:05:01

previous next

Book Review
Harnessing the power of questions

When was the last time you evaluated the questions you ask people in the course of a day? Have you ever considered how that factor alone - the questions you choose to ask - can have astounding effects on your relationships?

In Power Questions: Build Relationships, Win New Business, and Influence Others, authors Andrew Sobel and Jerold Panas illustrate what a difference asking the right question in the right context can make in your career and life.

Most of the book's concise chapters begin with a true story illustrating the type of question covered in that chapter. Then the authors discuss the reasons why the question was effective in the story's context. Ending each chapter are suggestions for how readers can use similar questions themselves.

No more digging holes

In one example, Sobel recounted a presentation he gave as a new partner in a consulting firm. When the potential client said, "Tell us a bit about yourselves," Sobel went into great detail about his firm's stellar attributes. About 30 minutes later, with the presentation finally done, he and his colleagues were met with silence. Then one of the client's executives grabbed her appointment book, thanked them and said she had to run to another meeting. Soon they were escorted out without having won the account.

Later, Sobel went on a sales call with a senior partner in the firm. The prospect asked, "Why don't you start by telling us about your firm?" The partner paused and then asked, "What would you like to know about us?" Then he was silent.

The client replied, "Well, we are of course broadly familiar with what you do. I'd like to understand in particular what your capabilities are in Asia, and also how you work together internally."

The partner said he was curious and asked the prospect to say more about "working together internally." An interactive, engaged conversation ensued - and they got the job. The lesson learned: If someone says, "Tell me about your company," get them to be more specific. Ask, "What would you like to know about us?"

Getting to the heart

Sobel noted that some meetings are akin to male gorillas engaged in battle. "They circle each other, and circle again, and again. In the process, they rake their hands in the dirt, scooping up handfuls that when thrown in the air make quite a dust storm. This is Gorilla Dust. Nothing decisive happens."

So, next time you're meeting with someone who is throwing Gorilla Dust around, don't ask an open-ended question; ask a closed-ended question to force a decision, Sobel advised. For example, ask, "Is it a yes or a no?"

A final section of the book provides 293 additional power questions, categorized by the types of situations in which they would be applicable, such as when you want to win new business, hold effective first meetings, understand aspirations and goals, discuss a proposal, coach and mentor others, or resolve a crisis or complaint.

The book promises that if you put the questions it contains to use, you will "connect more deeply with your clients, drive quickly to the heart of problems, and unlock your professional and personal influence in unexpected and delightful ways."

Sounds worthwhile, doesn't it?

Notice to readers: These are archived articles. Contact names or information may be out of date. We regret any inconvenience.

previous next

Spotlight Innovators:

North American Bancard | USAePay | Impact Paysystems | Electronic Merchant Systems | Board Studios