Dang it! I asked the wrong question. Again

Have you noticed recently, how many iPhones and iPads there are? I have noticed that people going to meetings used to carry a planner of some type are now carrying iPad’s (or sometimes another kind of tablet) and most everyone has some kind of smart phone. As a matter of fact, my very good friend and former client Patric Welch, aka Mr. Noobie, even created a special product of 100itips to use your smart phone so a person can maximize the use of your smart phone. But I digress…

I love asking one key question when I see someone using or carrying their iWhatever, and it’s… “What is your favorite app?” Seems pretty straight forward doesn’t it? Well you would be surprised at the looks and comments I get when I ask. When people see that I am genuinely interested in what their favorite app is… some answer with the one they use or the most unusual app. Many don’t have one or they haven’t thought about it. Then, I wonder how a person could really use a device without a “go-to” app?

What I am learning from asking this is a lesson I should have already learned years ago. To get to the heart of the matter should be to ask, “What is your go-to app?” and then follow up with “Do you have a favorite app?” Like I said before, I should know better. Here’ why, Words matter!

What I really want to know is …”What application on that there electronic device do you use to make it worth the money you paid for that there electronic device?”

Think about the questions you ask in your work. Are you asking the correct question for the information you’re looking to learn? In my example, there is a difference between “Favorite” and go-to” and I can prove it! I have a car, it’s true, it’s the one I drive everyday when I want to go someplace, but I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite car. It’s just the one I happen to have. It’s the one I use everyday. I do, however, have a favorite pen, okay maybe more than just one, but there’s one that I go to most every day and I happen to really enjoy using… therefore, I call it my favorite pen.

Think about the information you really want to learn from your client, prospect, patient, child, spouse or whomever and then construct an open-ended question to pull that information out. Remember, an open-ended question is one where the person can’t answer with a yes or a no or a set of choices.

When you do that, you’ll have better relationships, and do your job even better than you ever did in the past.

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