Powerful questions build trust, persuade people, unlock crucial information and guide the process. If you want to be a master at high integrity sales, you’ll need to develop the skill of asking powerful questions.

Powerful questions dissolve defensiveness and build rapport.Powerful Questions 8

Powerful questions make people think. They invoke insight, commitment or action

Powerful questions shift perspectives by gently challenging assumptions

Powerful questions indicate you are actively listening and understanding.

Powerful questions invite people to see what’s possible and move forward.

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When we ask powerful questions of our clients and prospects we uncover more and better information; information critical to our ability to understand our client’s needs, desires, challenges and world view. When we collect this information and use it to help our clients achieve better outcomes, our work becomes easier, better, more meaningful and referable.

When we ask powerful questions of the other parties to the transaction we also uncover more and better information: Information that is critical to our ability to negotiate successfully on behalf of our client.

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You won’t learn to ask powerful questions by memorizing scripts. Powerful questions come from a mindset of curiosity, the discipline of thoughtfulness, a commitment to courage and the paradigm of empathy.

In other words, be curious, take your time, think about what you say, see the world from your client’s perspective and have the courage to ask powerful questions that matter.

If there is a nagging question in your head, it’s likely important – not just to you but to your client as well. Have the courage to ask it and you will be surprised by the outcome.

Imagine you are touring around a home with a prospective seller client. She’s telling you all the details about each room and you get the feeling she is trying to upsell you on the value of the property. “The joists are all 2×6, the closet hardware is solid brass, the taps are gold plated……” You get the feeling  she is shopping for the agent who will give her the highest price. You are taking notes, asking questions, looking at the space and you ask her, without judgment or attitude, “Mrs. Seller, are you going to give the listing to the agent who gives you the highest price?”

What happens next?

Likely, it makes her think. Be sure to have the patience to let the silence hang while she considers the question. She will likely answer with something along the lines of, “Well, I was sort of thinking about it but perhaps that’s not the best approach” or “well – no, no. I just wanted to be sure you knew all the details about the house” and meanwhile her body language and lack of eye contact tell you’ve helped her see the situation from a new perspective.” If you are continually asking powerful questions from a place of real curiosity, it won’t take long for her to understand you know more, care more and can deliver a much better real estate experience.

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Further Reading:

The Power of Information in a Negotiation

Seth’s Four Questions