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Power Questions: Build Relationships, Win New Business, and Influence Others Hardcover – February 7, 2012
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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 youâll 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 colleagueâs 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.
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I am also thankful for this question I'll ask my kids every night from now on that I picked up from the book "What made this day more special then any other day in your life" Wow, what a simple powerful question to ask our kids every night. Thanks for the questions. Thanks for the book.
Power Questions is about the productive use of questions in a variety of contexts. Co-authors Andrew Sobel and Jerold Panas are experts on client loyalty and fundraising, respectively.
“The need to be heard turns out to be one of the most powerful motivating forces in human nature... There is nothing more potent than these four words: What do you think?”
“If you do all the talking, you learn nothing about the person… You will not build their trust… You will squander an opportunity to build the foundations for a rich, long-term relationship.
Sometimes a question will make the other person stop and think. “Never, ever interrupt a productive silence!”
In sales, intelligent questions are essential. But weak questions can damage credibility. “’What keeps you up at night?’ is a terrible question. First, it’s a shot in the dark… It’s also a question that requires no preparation… Second, if someone doesn’t already know you pretty well, they are probably not going to tell you what is really on their mind… The great salespeople ask indirect questions that show they know their stuff. They say things like... ‘How is your push into Asian markets going to impact your financial controls and risk management requirements?’”
An effective follow-up question could be as simple as, “Really? Can you tell me more?”
“A buyer is created when a clear need is identified, a trusting relationship is established, and the value is demonstrated. The most successful salespeople in the world create these conditions by asking great questions.”
Questions can make meetings more productive. “Start creating a culture of decisiveness.” At the start of each meeting, ask “What is the purpose of this meeting?” or “What decisions do we want to make today?”
Ask questions to resolve complaints or disputes. “When a person is upset… emotions are like facts. People want to be heard and understood. Rational argumentation will not win the day. Worse, it will inflame the tension. When there is a disagreement, your goal is to win the relationship, not the argument! During the first phase of any crisis or problem situation, you must lead with questions. By doing so you will learn essential information and—most importantly—create an ally in solving the problem.”
Leaders can ask empowering questions. “If their employees come up with the answer—if they feel ownership of it—there is a good chance it will bear fruit… Answers make you feel like a leader, but questions create real followers.”
“Good questions challenge your thinking. They reframe and redefine the problem. They throw cold water on our most dearly held assumptions, and force us out of our traditional thinking. They motivate us to learn and discover more.”
If anything, this book can overwhelm you with good questions, so my approach has been to take just two or three Power Question and practice them for a few weeks until they are solidly in my conversational repertoire, then expand out. The impact of implementing the ideas in this book have been, for me personally, immediate and dramatic. I highly recommend it.