Sales managers are not always present in small businesses, so we are often asked what…
As leaders, it’s easy to share advice, solve problems or give directions. But if you want to spend less time fixing and more time watching your people become independent, find the Power in Asking One More Question.
I want to share some sage advice I received from a veteran consultant, Harvey Meyer, General Management Consultant. He is a very experienced and recognized consultant in Washington state. Earlier in my career, I asked him the following question. “Harvey, what’s one thing you can share with me to help me in my consulting career?” He said, “Rene, it’s pretty simple. What I suggest you do is you ask one more question before blurting out any solutions, great ideas, your wisdom, features, benefits or whatever it might be. Stop yourself from spewing out a solution. Instead, ask one more question.” And that bit of advice has served me well. I’ve shared it with many salespeople and owners and sales leaders.
So why would we do this? And what’s the value in it? Well, as younger sales leaders or maybe older sales leaders with a bad habit, we tend to solve people’s problems for them. Our sales people come to us with their problems. And we know the answers because we’ve seen the problems. We’ve solved them many times before. It’s easy for us to solve their problems. But we can ask one more question of them and by doing this, we help them discover their own solutions.
If you start asking one more question, it’s going to lead to two questions, maybe three questions. Before you know it, they’re going to start asking themselves those questions and solving their own problems. And what’s the benefit of having your sales people solve their problems by you asking one more question? The benefit is this: Your people get stronger. You’re empowering them. In addition, you won’t see them coming to you as often with questions and problems to solve. And when they do bring problems to you, they tend to be more interesting. They’re not bringing the same worn out problems. Your team and you then become tactical and strategical about winning a new deal. And even in that scenario, keep asking them questions and helping them solve their problems.
To conclude, you’re going to free up time. And more importantly, you’re going to empower your people. Just by simply asking one more question.
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