How to fix a miscommunication issue (or avoid it)

Photo credit: Birmingham Culture

Humans are very complex creatures and I have learned the hard way that a few words badly picked can lead to miscommunication. And ultimately prevent getting the desired outcome. When I realise that happened, I tend to replay the conversation ad nauseam (well, not quite, but a few times) and think through other approaches I could have had. There is apparently a French expression, “l’esprit de l’escalier”, literally the thoughts of the stairs. Essentially, what one thinks while going down the stairs (l’escalier) replaying a conversation. And finding better ways to handle a question or specific moment in the conversation.… Read the rest

Why questions asked need to be qualified first and how to do so

Photo credit: personal stock

School days. Happy days. Lots of memories. The exuberance. The total lack of worries. School friends. Long school holidays spent in the South of France. The teachers I loved. Those I, well, liked less. And these happy moments when, as the teacher asked a question, I knew the answer, raised my hand and was just so eager to share my knowledge with the teacher and my class mates.

Sadly though, I came to realise that this eagerness to answer questions was a terrible habit we picked at school and that it was well worth trying to control this urge.… Read the rest

What sales questions should you ask?

Photo credit: Matt McGee

-“How was your sales meeting?”

-“Very well. They said they were interested to know more”, says the sales manager. “And we’ve agreed the next step”.

-“Great, and what after that?”

– “…”.

I assume this isn’t a situation you ever faced but, more often than not, “the next step” is deemed to be a good outcome from a sales meeting or any meeting for that purpose. I actually believe there is a better way than next steps. Can you imagine knowing all that is needed to get to a close? Or even to the realisation that what you sell isn’t relevant to a prospect and therefore it is not worth invest more time into this specific prospect (or a demo for that matter).… Read the rest