Get People to Ask You What You Want Them to Ask

Excepted from Chapter 2 of “Just Ask the Right Questions to Get What You Want” by Ian Cooper

How often have you been in some sort of social or business networking situation where you want the people you are mixing with to ask you certain questions. Maybe you want them to ask you for your business card or to ask what you do for a living. Essentially you want them to do this because it will open up the conversation and give you a platform to talk about what you want.

Here is one of the simplest and most effective techniques in the book to achieve this.

If you want someone to ask you a question, ask them the same question first!

This a classic example of ‘influence’ again. Ask somebody a particular question and more often than not, it almost compels them, sometimes unconsciously, to ask the same question back.

The most obvious example of this, which you probably ask every day, is the question:

“How are you?’

Invariably, back will come the response,

“I’m fine!  How about you?”

You have made the person ask you a question simply by the act of you asking that question of them first. It is such an automatic response that sometimes people will say, “I’m fine” before you have even asked them! Have you ever had that experience?

You can extend this simple technique to many business and social situations. Suppose you want someone to know what you do. Ask them

“What do you do for a living?”

Invariably, back will come an answer such as,

“I’m an architect And you?”

Suppose you want the person you are talking to, to know who you work for. Simply ask them

“Which company are you working for?” Their response might be, for example,

“I’m with Grapefruit PLC.

They may tell you more by saying … “I’m the Operations Director at Juicy Grapefruit PLC”.

The important bit however is that in most cases they will ask,

“How about you?  Who are you with?”

This will be your opportunity to tell them you are the Marketing Director at Automated Fruit Pickers Ltd.

Suppose you want someone to ask for your card.  Now you know what to do – simply ask for theirs!

If you want to chat about the great holiday you are going on, ask them casually,

“Any holiday plans?”

They’ll answer and then ask you,

“What about you?”

You can now tell them about your charity fundraising trip up Everest with an ironing board and a piano and ask them for sponsorship!

If you want to talk to someone about a topic ask them about it first!

Ian Cooper

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Professor Ian Cooper has been described as a ‘serial achiever’, London based, he is an international author of 15 books with in 55 countries and 13 languages, including the successful and influential ‘Financial Times Guide To Business Development’, recently shortlisted for the best management / business book of the year award. In addition to advising hundreds of businesses and organizations of all sizes for over 30 years, Ian is also a successful entrepreneur who has created and run a number of successful businesses. With approximately 1000 professional speaking engagements Ian has inspired thousands of businesses and individuals with his light and engaging style to improve their own performance, get better results and make things happen.  You can connect with Ian on his website.

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