How to Ask Great Questions

Source: hbr

Unlike professionals such as litigators, journalists, and doctors, who are taught how to ask questions as an essential part of their training, few executives think of questioning as a skill that can be honed-or consider how their own answers to questions could make conversations more productive.

The researchers told some people to ask many questions and others to ask very few.

In Alison's studies, for example, though people could accurately recall how many questions had been asked in their conversations, they didn't intuit the link between questions and liking.

Some students are told to ask as few questions as possible, and some are instructed to ask as many as possible.

In Alison's studies, the people who were told to ask more questions used more follow-up questions than any other type without being instructed to do so.

Taken together, the data from affirms what great salespeople intuitively understand: When sellers ask questions rather than just make their pitch, they close more deals.