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Power Questions: Build Relationships, Win New Business, and Influence Others [Kindle Edition]

Andrew Sobel , Jerold Panas
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (233 customer reviews)

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Book Description

An arsenal of powerful questions that will transform every conversation

Skillfully redefine problems. Make an immediate connection with anyone. Rapidly determine if a client is ready to buy. Access the deepest dreams of others. Power Questions sets out a series of strategic questions that will help you win new business and dramatically deepen your professional and personal relationships. The book showcases thirty-five riveting, real conversations with CEOs, billionaires, clients, colleagues, and friends. Each story illustrates the extraordinary power and impact of a thought-provoking, incisive power question. To help readers navigate a variety of professional challenges, over 200 additional, thought-provoking questions are also summarized at the end of the book.

In Power Questions you’ll discover:

  • The question that stopped an angry executive in his tracks
  • The sales question CEOs expect you to ask versus the questions they want you to ask
  • The question that will radically refocus any meeting
  • The penetrating question that can transform a friend or colleague’s life
  • A simple question that helped restore a marriage

When you use power questions, you magnify your professional and personal influence, create intimate connections with others, and drive to the true heart of the issue every time.

Editorial Reviews


“A powerful question can turn a tepid conversation into a revealing encounter, as demonstrated by Andrew Sobel and Jerold Panas in their engaging new book, Power Questions...first-rate and very helpful.”—The Globe and Mail

“Power already my favorite, keep-it-close-at-hand business book. I read the book in a single sitting and within 24 hours landed a speaking engagement by asking a few of the “337 Essential Questions” that Sobel and Panas have carefully matched to 35 common business-related situations.”—

“Forget trying to be brilliant or clever on your feet to sell a prospect. Power questions will refocus meetings, stop people in their tracks and help you win new business.”—American, “Top 10 Business Books for the Summer”

“An inspirational read...strongly recommended”—Midwest Library Journal

The greatest gift you can give someone is to ask what he or she thinks, and truly listen to the answer. Sobel and Panas turn this powerful idea into practical, compelling advice by asking questions that reveal surprising, often life-changing, answers.—Ralph W. Shrader, Chairman and CEO, Booz Allen Hamilton

This book is amazing. It packs a wallop. It gets you inside the mind and heart of a person.  I strongly recommend it.—John Schlifske, Chairman and CEO, Northwestern Mutual

Power Questions is easy to pick up, but hard to put down. Andrew and Jerry give a veritable playbook for building stronger relationships. Whether you read it cover-to-cover or just open a page to prepare for a new meeting, it’s a valuable resource no matter where you are in your career.—Frank D'Souza, CEO, Cognizant

Read this remarkable book and keep it handy, because these questions have the power to enrich every segment of your life.—Ken Blanchard, coauthor of The One Minute Manager® and Leading at a Higher Level

Reading Power Questions is like listening in to the most amazing array of private conversations with CEOs, politicians, religious authorities, and entrepreneurs. A joyous read.—David Sable, Global CEO, Young & Rubicam

Andrew Sobel and Jerry Panas have developed the thought-provoking thesis in their book of the importance of asking questions to tailor advice and build relationships. Their work is illustrated with plenty of examples, and their premise becomes more convincing page by page.—Sir Winfried Bischoff, Chairman, Lloyds Banking Group

From the Inside Flap

Unlock the power of great questions

What do you think most engages a prospective client, or makes a lasting impression on someone you've just met? The popular belief is that we win business by being clever and quick on our feet, and that our brilliance—saying just the right thing—is what attracts others. But as Power Questions compellingly demonstrates, knowing the right question to ask is actually far more important than having a ready answer.

Power Questions can immediately help you win more business, deepen your relationships, and connect with people more rapidly than you ever thought possible. It shows you how to use thought-provoking questions to engage prospects and uncover their most pressing issues. It gives you the tools to get inside the heart and mind of anyone you meet. In thirty-five inspiring chapters, you'll meet a fascinating group of men and women. Through these riveting, real-life stories, you'll learn exactly how each power question was used and the impact it had. You'll discover how you can transform your daily conversations—and even someone's life—through powerful questions that anyone can master.

You'll learn how Steve Jobs asked a single motivating question that led to breakthrough results in developing the Macintosh personal computer. You'll see how an unasked question cost a major company a huge project bid. Other powerful examples include:

  • The question that stopped an angry executive in his tracks
  • The sales question CEOs expect you to ask, versus the questions they want you to ask
  • The question that can radically refocus any meeting
  • A simple question that helped restore a marriage
  • The penetrating question that can transform the life of a friend or colleague

Put these questions to use and 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.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1077 KB
  • Print Length: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (January 5, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006V879WC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,072 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
85 of 88 people found the following review helpful
What a great read. Andrew Sobel takes on the universal truth: "Good questions are often far more powerful than answers" in this enjoyable, practical and challenging book. What I loved about this book is that it helps to address the question: Would you rather engage with someone who's a boring mega phone, a mute or just plain awkward -- or someone that's always drawing you into meaningful dialogue? In my personal and professional relationships, it can be hard to start or carry on a conversation beyond the introductions and salutations. This book provides meaty prescriptions for being able to turn up the engagement meter in your conversations. What's great is that while many of the lessons in the book may be applicable to personal & social circumstances, Power Questions really gives concrete advice for turbo charging professional client-advisor relationships.

The book present 35 distinct chapters that cover various approaches with real-life anchor stories to demonstrate the questions you should be asking. Where most books stop, but Power Questions keeps delivering is the section included at the end of each chapter, "Suggestions for How To Use This Question." Sobel offers some addition advice around (A) When to use the question (B) Alternative versions of the question and (C) Follow-up questions you may use in the conversation.

And as if that's not enough, there's a final chapter that's a fun, but one of the most practical sections of the book -- there's hundreds of more questions (293 to be exact) sorted into 9 buckets that you can use in your client relationships.

This is one of those books where you can put the advice into action, well before you reach the end of the book. I found myself trying to employ the new perspectives gained each time before I picked-up the book again for the next chapter. Loved it.
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50 of 56 people found the following review helpful
I do not know of another business thinker, indeed another person, who asks better questions than Andrew Sobel does and that is a talent he has developed over several decades. Each of his three previously published books was written in direct response to an especially serious business question and his latest book is no exception: How to build relationships, win new business, and influence others? Sobel and co-author Jerold Panas offer and discuss 337 "essential" questions that can obtain information that will help to achieve these three separate but interdependent objectives.

How so "interdependent"? If an organization does not build and constantly strengthen relationships with everyone involved in the given enterprise, it will lose its most valuable employees, clients, and allies and, for the same reasons, fail to replace them. True, this company "influences others" but in all he wrong ways.

Sobel and Panas organize their material within 35 chapters that contain a total of 42 questions (five in Chapter 35) within a narrative significantly enhanced by anecdotes that illustrate the power of questions that can either strengthen or weaken a relationship, increase or reduce the chances of achieving a desired objective. Then 293 additional "Power" questions are provided in the final section, "Not Just for Sunday."

I really appreciate how cleverly Sobel and Panas frame their material in a reader-friendly fashion. For example, they pose a question and then suggest how and when to use that question most effectively. One of my personal favorites is "Is this the best you can do?" apparently one that many others such as Steve Jobs and Henry Kissinger have frequently posed.
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38 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring January 30, 2012
Power Questions has a simple but powerful thesis: That asking thought-provoking questions is a far better way to connect with people and build client relationships than trying to show how smart you are. We all know this but we often can't help ourselves. We end up talking too much and learning very little about the other person. I've enjoyed Sobel's other excellent books, such as Clients for Life and All for One, which focus on developing long-term client relationships. Power Questions extends this theme in a very readable, entertaining, and even inspiring book. I have tried using some of the questions, and they really do work. They can help you create very deep and interesting conversations.
Power Questions will help you equally with clients, colleagues, friends, and family. Rather than just a list of interesting questions, the book is built around a series of actual conversations that were transformed by a question. Sobel and his coauthor Panas are great storytellers, and I found myself drawn to read the next chapter as soon as I finished the one I was on. The questions they highlight are a mixture of ones you would use in a professional situation and others that might be more appropriate with family and friends. Here are some that I liked: Chapter 7--"How did you get started?" Here they recount a conversation with Rich DeVos, the founder of Amway. Chapter 8--"Do you mind if we start over?" The idea here is that when you get off on the wrong foot with someone, you can reset the conversation rather than keep digging a hole. Chapter 11--"Is this the best you can do?" This describes how Steve Jobs used this question to drive Apple engineers to the brink of insanity--and great results.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding. Required reading
This book taught me more about professional relationships than 20 years in business has.

It should be required reading for all college graduates.
Published 4 days ago by Douglas L. Ringer
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
The book was in excellent condition.
Published 5 days ago by Aharon Soffer
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Thought provoking material.
Published 8 days ago by Thomas Chappell
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I really enjoyed this book, and continue to reference the notes I have written down even to this day.
Published 18 days ago by Robert
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read full of relevant anecdotes and applicable scenarios...
Thus is more than a "how to grow your business" book. I've started using the questions on my teenagers to get more than one word answers from them! Read more
Published 23 days ago by SoManyBooks
3.0 out of 5 stars I haven't started reading this yet. I got it ...
I haven't started reading this yet. I got it because it helps with all the questions to be on your toes.
Published 24 days ago by Belinda Perry
5.0 out of 5 stars The Right Questions Cut Through Business Fog
This is the best book I've found for finding the right questions to ask to get an organization going. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Ray Bod
5.0 out of 5 stars Great questions. Some of the material may already resonate ...
Great questions. Some of the material may already resonate with you but it's a great discussion of how to look at what you really will go with the type of questions you ask, as... Read more
Published 1 month ago by cassieorsaps
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Read
Great Book!
Published 1 month ago by Brian Fradet
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice but not good enough!
The expectations were high and honestly the book does not offer enough depth. Especially in the processes behind the power of questions. The examples are too superficial. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Arthur C. Otte
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