Marketing Tips to Help You Boost Your Bottom Line!
The Thing About Questions
Getting someone to buy from you requires getting them to change their mind. Getting the world out there to have a different view of your company, requires getting them to change their minds. To change the direction of your business, involves changing your own mind about it. In your personal life, getting a friend or family member to do what you want them to do, also involves getting them to change their mind. The start of changing minds is to open those minds to curiosity. And you do that with mind- expanding questions.
What are mind expanding questions, you ask? Well, let me give you a couple big examples.
When Einstein was a teenager, he asked himself this question, “What would the universe look like if I were riding on the end of a light beam going at the speed of light?” The question became a thought experiemnt. A few years later, that question ultimately led Einstein to his Theory of Relativity. As a result, the world of physics was changed forever. From this theory, we now know that light bends in a gravitational field, that there is enormous energy in the smallest mass (E=mc2) and that there isn’t one true time¾that time’s not the same for everyone.
The director of Hewlet Packard’s Laboratory asked himself a question. “Why isn’t our organization considered the best industrial research lab in the world?” That question caused him to think about just what it meant to be the best industrial lab in the world. And he put Barbara Waugh in charge of finding out. She asked all the HP lab employees the world over.
One day, one of her lab engineers came into her office and said this. “That question is ok, but what would really energize me and get me up in the morning would be asking, “How can we be the best industrial research lab for the world?”
Changing the preposition in the question made for a radical shift in the entire focus of Barbara’s job. Rather that discovering how to be best in the world, they began to search for the way to be best for the world.
The result of that change in the question HP was asking, resulted in their E-Inclusion effort, a project designed to provide critical medical information to communities in the third world. The question caused HP to go far and create a better world.
So, look at the places you want someone to change their mind. Find some big questions that trigger and create curiosity. In fact when you’re asking questions of others, ask them what they’re curious about—using the word ‘curious.’ The word itself sets up a thinking process that works in your favor. Of course you must also know the answers.
When you are looking at yourself or your business in terms of changing something, inspire your own curiosity by the questions you ask yourself. Open up to new ideas, new ways of looking at old ‘stuff’.
Look into your history, too and recall the times a powerful question led to your own success or changing of your mind. I recall an incident in my very early years when someone simply asked me why I believed something I’d talked about. The answer, I discovered, was that some one had told me to believe it¾and that was the start of thinking for myself. We sometimes call these moments epiphanies. (Epiphany: a perception of reality by means of a sudden intuitive realization.) That’s what big questions can do for you or your customer.
Write down some mind changing questions you can ask the people you must deal with¾customers, friends, family.
Aren’t you curious about how we ______________________?
What are you curious about in __________________(alpacas, emus, llamas, goats, cows, fiber, organic produce, farm fresh eggs, etc.)
Aren’t you curious what a (date, meeting, trip, adventure) with me would be like?
What would your life look like if it was perfect? (Ask a customer, ask yourself.)
What would my business be like if it was the best ___________ farm in the county?
What would my business look like if it were the best ___________ farm for the county?
If I had all the income I wanted, what would I be curious about then?
Curiosity greases the wheels of change. Go ahead, question assumptions and beliefs. Use curiosity as a tool to direct people to new information that questions their assumptions.
A powerful question will never fail you. Play with it. Ask questions and see how your world changes.
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