It’s 8am. You just arrived at your conference. You make a bee-line for your necessary morning jolt of java. As you are stirring in your sugar, Jenna, next to you, smiles at you as she pours her own cup of coffee. She looks at your name tag and then asks, “What do you do?” You of course, respond with your well-rehearsed elevator pitch.
Jenna smiles as she listens. After you finish, she doesn’t ask any questions. She doesn’t make any comments. Rather, she shares her elevator pitch. What just happened?
One of two things:
- Jenna completely understands your elevator pitch and doesn’t have any questions
- She didn’t understand/is confused. She doesn’t want to either embarrass you or embarrass herself by asking any follow up questions
PEOPLE SHOULD BE ASKING “INTEREST QUESTIONS”
You see, there should be a third option. Jenna asks “Interest Questions.” These are follow up questions to better understand the value of your products and services. With Interest Questions, she is demonstrating, well, interest. You piqued her interest with a “Wow! Tell me more” elevator pitch. Your pitch performed as it was designed.
On the flip side, are what we call “Understanding Questions.” These are asked for clarification because someone doesn’t understand what you said. Your listener wants examples and clarification to get unstuck.
INTEREST QUESTIONS ARE UNIVERSAL
Interest Questions and Understanding Questions are not just for your elevator pitch. They are universal. They can be applied to anything you say, write, or post-online.
If you are consistently receiving Understanding Questions in marketing, customer service, prospecting/outreach, conference presentations, all-hands meetings, recruiting, etc. it’s time to address and fix these issues. They won’t go away with time.
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