It was a Sunday. I was buying ties.
“Phone number, please?”
Those were the first words spoken by the saleswoman. A question.
I had checked my compulsion at the door like an umbrella, so I responded with a question of my own: “Why would I give you my phone number?” She launched into an explanation of their marketing program.
I asked her how many people give up their information. “Nearly everyone.”
Questions are far more powerful than statements. We’re programmed to answer them. Not always of course. I had resisted when asked for my phone number.
Questions elicit a strong, innate compulsion to provide a response. They gather information. They’re fuel for conversations. Not only do they pass the communication baton to the listener, the right type of question removes the hard edge of assumption.
How do you use them in your business? In negotiations? In your everyday activities?
Are you simply stating your position or are you questioning your way forward? Are you compelled to state what’s on your mind, or are you taking advantage of someone else’s compulsion to provide you with valuable information?