You're famished and someone suggests that you go on a 2-day fast!
You're late, it's a two-hour ride by car to your destination and someone suggests that you walk!
You're exhausted and ready for a nap and someone suggests you should clean out your basement!
You've decided to eat better and lay-off carbs, and someone suggests ordering pizza!
These are all crazy opposites of what you were focused on and they cause you to ask, "whaaat?"
So now you'll understand how I responded when, during a two-day training program, I was asked about messaging for a talk track.
A talk track? Given that we are trying to get them to take a more consultative approach to selling, shouldn't we be working on a listening track?
Salespeople don't think in terms of listening. They think like, "OK, I'll ask a few questions so that I can talk about what I know." There it is - the talk track. They think they can control the call when they're talking. They can't. They think they can lead and direct the prospect. They can't. They think that they're selling. They aren't.
But a listening track - now we're (not) talking! Listening informs our next question. Listening helps us direct the conversation with our next question. Listening puts us in control because we're the one asking the questions!
My favorite video for the power of asking questions is this one from the comedian Louis CK. [note - after 11, 271 views I received an email complaining about my use of a Louis CK video clip to illustrate the power of questions. Louis CK took advantage of women, admitted it and this reader was offended that I used his material. For this I apologize. I was not and am not condoning Louis CK's behavior.]
The top 10% of all salespeople are 304% more effective at listening and asking questions than the bottom 10%. Good salespeople don't need talk tracks. They use listening tracks to ask great questions.
How do you get yourself to ask better and better questions? Leave your comment in the LinkedIn discussion.