What if I told you that by simply asking a question, you can capture the full attention and focus of your audience? And what if I also said that asking questions can predict future behaviour?
I’m guessing a few of you would think I’ve exchanged common sense for fantasy. But it turns out that questions have an amazing impact on our brains and there is scientific evidence to prove it.
When it comes to creating great phone conversations, I’ve always encouraged the use of thoughtful, relevant questions. So I was thrilled to have my instincts and experience supported in David Hoffeld‘s recent article in Fast Company – Want to Know What Your Brain Does When It Hears A Question. Here are the key points for your consideration:
- Research in neuroscience has found that our brains can only think about one thing at a time (no matter how hard we try to make it do otherwise). When a question is asked it takes over our thinking process and we are unable to consider anything else. When we ask a prospect or client a question, we are forcing them to only think about that topic.
- Several studies in behavioural science have shown that asking people about their future decisions significantly influences those decisions. Hoffeld includes examples of buying a car, voting, giving blood, exercise and others. It turns out that when our brains contemplate a behaviour, it increases the likelihood we will act. In other words, we do often “bring about what we think about”.
There are two ways you want to use this information to impact your phone conversations. First … stop asking questions that distract from the reason for your call. For example (especially when you are calling someone you don’t know), avoid inquiring about their health or the weather.
And second, take the time to craft meaningful questions. Based on the reason for your call, ask questions that invite your prospects and customers join you in a discussion about that subject. Help them – and yourself – stay focused.
Excellent questions are essential for inspiring and creating enjoyable, meaningful phone conversations. (Tweet This!)
They not only allow your conversations to be productive and efficient, but also create value for your prospects and clients. And this is key to building strong relationships and loyalty.
So, next time you pick up the phone, what will you ask?