3 Reasons to Ask 1 More Question

I’ve observed something in the last few years
that I think has helped me become a much more persuasive individual and I’d
like to share it with you. It’s something simple that you can do if you’re willing
to commit an extra 10 seconds every now and then when you’re communicating with
others.
Here it is – Ask one more question. That’s
all; just ask one more question. The interesting thing is people feel compelled
to answer questions so virtually everyone will answer you when you ask one more
question. What you want to do is ask the question in the same email or
conversation in which you provide help for someone.
Imagine a coworker has reached out to you for assistance.
They sent you an email because they needed some information or insight from
you. You share your expertise with them and then you add one more question at
the end of the email. That question might be something like one of the
following:
“Does that help?”
“Is that what you were looking for?”
“Is there anything else you need?”
Why is asking one more question so important?
I think there are three reasons.
First, you’re confirming what you’ve provided
is what they needed. There’s no miscommunication because they’ll reply to tell
you it’s exactly what they were looking for or they’ll clarify and ask you more
questions. Either way miscommunication is avoided.
Second, your follow up question reinforces
what you’ve done for the other person. This engages the principle of reciprocity. Should you ever need
help in the future they’ll be very likely to return the favor because this
principle of influence tells us people feel obligated to give back to those who
first give to them. If you don’t do a quick follow up the other person might
get what they need and simply move on without acknowledging what you’ve done
for them. While it may seem rude to not acknowledge the help, many people don’t
just want one more email. But, when you ask one more question is almost
guaranteed they’ll reply.
Third, and most importantly, when you ask one more question to make sure they got what they needed people seem to answer much more
positively. What I’ve noticed is the response I get is much different than a
simple “Thanks!” Here are a few responses I’ve received over the past month:
“That is outstanding – thank you – you’re the
best!”
“OMG yes thank you so much! I really
appreciate you!”
“Yes, that makes sense to me. Thank you for
reviewing.”
“Thanks. All good stuff!”
I think you can see each response was much
better than a simple, “Thank you.” Everyone wins. Each person I helped was very
thankful. They felt better about me, which engaged liking, and my authority was enhanced in their
eyes. I also benefitted because, as noted above, reciprocity was engaged. If I
need help down the road don’t you think each of these people would happily step
up to the plate? I know they would.
My persuasion advice for you is this – ask one
more question this week. Whether by email or phone, after you’ve responded to
someone’s request for help ask, “Did that help?” or “Does that give you
everything you need?” I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the responses you
get. Over time you’ll find it translates into becoming a more persuasive
individual.
Brian Ahearn, CMCT®
Chief Influence Officer
influencePEOPLE 
Helping You Learn to Hear “Yes”.
 
 
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