Sales is all about solving problems. But are you going about solving problems the right way? In today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, Donald is joined by guest Bryan Kelly to discuss how we can ask more beautiful questions, using the book A More Beautiful Question by Warren Berger as a framework.
Phase One: Why?
- When we ask ‘why,’ it requires you to adjust the way you look at the world. There are three different ways to get into this mentality.
- First, step back and disengage. Taking a break will break up your routine and help inspiration strike.
- Next, challenge your assumptions. Whether they’re your assumptions or the assumptions of others, asking questions about your current process will help you find new avenues to explore.
- Finally, question the questions. Reframe a question to challenge the expected answer.
- Remember the five why’s. (Literally ask the question “why” five times in a row to get to the root understanding of the situation.)
Phase Two: Wondering “What If?”
- Get everybody (including yourself) to avoid thinking about specifics. Similar to phase one, there are a few practices you can implement:
- Combinatorial thinking is one method where you look at combining existing practices and how that combination can lead to new possibilities.
- Next, you can live with the question. We often try to answer questions in the moment, but that’s not usually necessary. Instead, take time to relax and distance yourself from a problem to view the situation with a fresh perspective.
- Finally, think of wrong ideas. It might seem counterproductive, but this process can help lead to the concept you need.
Phase Three: Determining How
- We want to jump to the “how” of a solution, but there’s a reason it’s the last stage. If you start there, you’re missing the critical time to go deeper into the question itself.
- Converge the ideas you’ve explored into one idea worth pursuing and share it for feedback.
- Give form to the ideas you’ve worked through. Before you go and ask others for feedback, bring the idea to life.
- In other industries, it might look like a prototype. In the sales space, write a summary, proposal, chart, or whatever would help people give the best feedback.
- Rapidly test and learn. If you have several potential solutions, run a quick test to see how the change affects your problem.
Bryan’s final takeaway:
- Instead of jumping to the “how,” first think about the “why.”
- To get in touch with Bryan, visit his website getstrokeofgenius.com or connect with him on LinkedIn.
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