Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Are You Asking The Right Questions?

December 10, 2016 by  
Filed under Coaching, Personal Development

Are You Asking The Right Questions?


I’m blessed to get to travel across the country as a Strategic Coach helping people with their business or helping them start one.  At one particular event, I was standing there talking to a student who I could tell was a go-getter.  She had “the vision” and had what it took to get there.  She also had a partner she was working with on a few things.

As I was there talking to her, the partner walked up to us and decided to ask me a question.  I could quickly tell he was the analytical type of which her partner confirmed.  He was an engineer. And while I could tell that even though she saw the vision and could get herself there, her partner thought he saw the vision and thought he could get himself there.  Call it ego, over confidence, naivety, or just plain ignorance; I’m pretty sure he was going to be in for the ride of his life if he didn’t allow himself to be helped.

Anyway, back to the question.

Direct mail was the topic of the discussion we had just had in the previous session, so he asked me if I could tell him what the best marketing strategy was to get results.  In fact, the exact wording of the questions was, “Can you tell me what the best marketing strategy is to get the best results?”

(The “results” in this case were to get a lead to a vacant house which he could then negotiate, buy and sell for a nice profit).

My answer, of course, was, “It depends.”

Obviously he didn’t like this answer very much because I could see him visibly bristle.

He actually shuttered and made a face.

Then he said, “Well, I would expect with your years of experience that you could give me a more exact answer than that.”

I could see his partner out of the corner of my eye and she just gave me a smile that said, “I’m sorry.”

Fortunately, I’ve dealt with these kinds of situations before, so it didn’t bother me.

I simply told him that had he asked me a more exact question, I would have given him a more exact answer.

Of course he didn’t like that response either.  In fact, he was somewhat flabbergasted.  He just paused with a blank look in his eyes.  I then went on to ask him a series of questions like, “What’s your budget?  What list are you using?  What’s your frequency of mailings?  How long is it taking you to get your mailings out?  Are you outsourcing anything?  What area are you mailing to?  What’s the average price point of the area you’re targeting?  What problem are you targeting?  How good is your copy?  Who’s doing your copy?  Do you have a follow-up funnel?” Etc. Etc.

After about the 10th question, I think he was starting to get it.

I then said to him, “Listen.  The lesson I want you to learn here is that the more specific your question, the more specific your answer.  If you ask me a general question, you’re going to get a general answer and that’s true anywhere you go in life and in business.”


If you really want to succeed and get better answers, then ask better questions.


He obviously thought he was asking a good question because he was asking for the “best” strategy and in truth, there are multiple best strategies depending upon each and every person’s situation and/or skillset.  For some people, social media is the best strategy for marketing their business.  I would never say that’s the best strategy for someone who doesn’t know how to use a computer though.  They would get horrible results and take forever getting them too.

Eventually, he got it.  Well, he said he did by saying, “I got it, I got it, I got it,” in kind of a smug way.  I hope he did because if he didn’t, he’s in for a world of hurt.  Remember, I said he had to allow himself to get help.

What about you?  How good are your questions?  And are you allowing yourself to get help, to learn, to listen or do you kinda know it all?  If you know it all, great!  I’m happy for you!  And I wish you the best.  As for me, I’m constantly learning, constantly growing, and constantly asking better questions.

Got any questions?