There is a void between moving forward successfully and coming to a standstill. Generally it is based around the desire to ask questions or the ability to follow up. On many occasions trying to get progress without genuine questions will lead to frustration and the potential mind space of not being able to follow up. Based on the rules of communication, if you can’t make a mistake by asking a question then the more questions you ask the more knowledge you gain.
In a recent example we conducted a secret shopper campaign within our company. We undertook over 100 open homes of salespeople from within our business and also from other real estate companies. An open home is when an individual comes into contact with a salesperson, who then generally has to follow up to be able to make more of that potential business. When there is no follow up the business is lost at that point. When there is follow up the business continues to be available and, depending on the skills, can be converted to more business.
The reason why questions are so important is because there is one space in business you don’t want to be – and maybe this is also a part of our life experience – and that is the space of “don’t know”. It is the bearer of a lot of thought and allows possibility and options but if the “don’t know” space is where you end then you are unlikely to be the converter of any business. There are two responses that you get when you ask for business; you get a ‘yes’, which is great and allows you to continue to build and grow with your contact; or you get a ‘no’, which either generally ends that association or gives you a reason to find a different solution.
When I look at the recent results of the secret shopper campaign I can only determine that there are a lot of people who should be good at sales who are not because they sit in the space of “don’t know”.
I would suggest if you don’t ask questions and don’t follow up, you will reside in the unsuccessful space of “don’t know”. A ‘yes’ is great; a ‘no’ is disappointing; a “don’t know” is a waste of time.