The Three Questions

by Cees Quirijns on 5 December, 2011

There are three questions that govern any (potential) business relationship. Sometimes they are asked out loud, more often not. In both instances they nevertheless require an answer:

1. Do you care about me?

Or are you just trying to sell me something with the sole goal of personal benefit.

2. Are you competent?

Or are you just trying to bluff your way into this domain and don’t you know anything more about it than I already do.

3. Can I trust you?

Or will you sell me down the river when you get the chance.

The fact is that most business conversation is directed at answering question 2.  That’s because it’s easy to argue and let’s you do the talking.

If you want a client to answer the first question with a “yes”, you shouldn’t do much talking but a lot of listening instead. More difficult for most.

The third question seldom gets attention in a business conversation, but is always answered by the client quickly and is most determining for whether or not he will do business with you. So you’d better have a strategy there. Very difficult perhaps, but also very worth your efforts.

What’s your strategy and tactics for getting the answers you want?

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