10 Totally Random Thoughts About Questions

by Paul Castain on November 14, 2011

I’ve been talking a lot about questioning skills with my clients lately and thought you might enjoy some assorted thoughts.

1)    A good question can draw someone inward and . . . cause them to reflect, consider and even do so subconsciously through (get this) the awareness your question has created.

2)    Good questioning allows you to take control of a situation . . . without being controlling!

3)    Good questions create higher quality communication. Higher quality communication fosters superior relationships. Want superior relationships? Start by asking a better question!

4)    Good questions lead the recipient on a path of self discovery. You could tell someone something and perhaps they will consider it. If they discover it . . .  They own it!

5)    Good questions create high levels of rapport. Perhaps Voltaire was spot on when he said “Dude, that was a righteous question” or even infinitely more spot on when he said “Judge of a man not by his answers, but by his questions” What do your questions say about you?

6)    A good question changes the lens in which a person sees their world. Note: That’s some pretty deep sh*t right there . . . I’m not going to lie!

7)    A good question, asked of the wrong person, is just as ineffective as a poor question asked of the right person. We were taught, early on in sales, to go to the highest level of decision maker. What if we ask a brilliant question of this high level individual, but they are several layers removed from feeling the impact?

8)    A good question, at the front end of a response can offer the clarity needed for you to offer a meaningful response. It will also buy you time to craft your response.

9)    Good questions focus not only on discovering “ the pain”, they focus on discovering the opportunities your client/prospect desires!

10)  A good question can move someone off the fence of indifference by igniting emotional buy in!

So there you have it . . . 10 totally random thoughts about questions and guess what?

Just for the heck of it . . . I put this all into a free, downloadable PDF just for you!

A small “thank you” for the gift of your time today!


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  • Daniella Rudoff

    A good question creates a bond. The person asking the question needs to really understand the recipient well to make him reflect and introspect. The recipient will value the question. but even more so being understood.

  • GREAT list of questions for any business dialog, the most important aspect of asking a question is the ability to listen. There a quite a few courses in Public Speaking, but very few in Public Listening! Why is that?? 

  • So true Daniella. That understanding needs to be present at all times . . . even prior to the question being asked . . .so they know the right question to ask.

    Well stated!

    Thanks for stopping by!

  • I don’t disagree Bill.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and have a great week!

  • Gerry Niemer

    I usually spend more time preparing 3 to 4 quality questions than I do on my presentation. A great question trumps a PowerPoint any time.

  • Erowan

    I agree with you 100% Bill. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve discovered one of my reps fail to ask a brilliant question that could have led to a sale, but they didn’t because they weren’t listening! Often times, it’s not what the customer says, but its what they don’t say that begs for one of Paul’s stellar preguntas.

  • Debbie

    Thank you for the positive start to a Monday.  Along the same lines–any suggestions for “listening” to the answer and/or taking good notes you can understand later.  I appreciate your posts and hope you have a great week!

  • Thanks Debbie!

  • Agree 100% Gerry!

    Well said!

  • Anonymous

    Paul.. I appreciate you reminding everyone to ask better questions. Here are the four I will remind myself to ask during conversations this week. Don’t know where I got them but I had them posted on the inside of my closet door to remind myself every day. Here they are->
    1. That is really interesting, can you tell me more?2. Do you mind if I ask why you feel that way?3. Where did that decision come from?4. That surprises me, can you tell me a little more about it?It helps to foster a deeper conversation, especially if I listen to their response.

  • Traci

    #7 is my favorite. Boy, ain’t that the truth! Thanks, Paul.

  • I like #2 and have had recent very experience with both  # 7 and # 2.

     Good article Paul

  • Julie

    was just having this very conversation with a mentor the other day.  great stuff as always!! 

  • Thanks Roger!

  • Sounds like you guys are heading down the right road.

    Wish I had someone like you working with me when I first arrived in this crazy sales world Mike.

    Gold star for you for taking the time to coach this new sales professional!

  • Those are some great questions to encourage the other person to expand their thoughts.

    Great way to demonstrate interest too John!

    Thanks for stopping by and contributing!

  • Thanks Traci . . . truth be told I copied that one off the rest room wall in an airport 🙂

    Thanks for stopping by!

  • I agree Jim and wish I had owned that one earlier in my career!

    Thanks for the kind words!

  • Thanks Tim . . . I really appreciate it!

  • Thanks Julie!

    Wishing you a great week my friend!

  • It’s all about the questions Bro-chacho.
    Great post!!

  • Agreed brohemeth! 

  • Lisa

    When I first started working with Shanahan Printing, my boss Dan Shanahan would come out on sales calls with me. He made me nervous with all of his questions because I had never worked with anyone who did that. Eventually I learned my lessons and realized the wisdom of his ways.

  • Larry


    Great list today.  If you change the way you look at something, that something changes by your new current view.  This can be inspired by the right questions!

  • An all caps RIGHT ON to you Larry . . . Well said.

    Thank you for always taking the time to stop by and contribute!

  • Sounds like Dan taught you quite a valuable lesson Lisa.

    Thanks for taking the time to share it with us today!

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