Dec. 18, 2019

44: Cut the fluff and ask the question


Ever had someone give a huge preamble before asking you a question? Ever done that yourself? Don't do it says Michael Bungay Stanier in The Coaching HabitSupport the show (http://www.unstoppable.do)
Transcript
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Ever had someone give a long rambling lead in to asking you a question or have you even done that yourself? Well , don't do it. Says Michael Bungay Stanier in his book the coaching habit.

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welcome to the bite size sales podcast where we believe that sales is the most important team and a B2B company that the sales team deserves great sales skills training but usually doesn't get it. And that taking bite-size steps each day to get better at your craft is the best way to improve results. I am your host Andrew Monahan , and I'm using my experiences in B2B sales to bring you simple actionable ideas every day to help you get better.

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So welcome to episode 44 of the podcast. Now I'm going to go straight into the book first here, cause I love how the author tees off this section. So let me read straight from the coaching habit by monk Michael Bungay Stanier. There's an internet meme about the best opening scene in a James Bond movie for some people as Roger Moore skiing off a cliff and then parachuting away with a union Jack emblazon parachute. Naturally in the spy who loved me. For others, it's the more gritty, black and white moment in casino Royale. When Daniel Craig gets into double sort accreditation by notching up his second kill, my favorite. When Pierce Brosnan bungee jumps off a massive dam in Goldeneye. In any case, you'll notice a pattern here. No James Bond movie ever starts off slowly. Within 10 seconds you're into the action. The adrenaline has jacked and the heart is beating faster. That's a stark contrast to the way many of us ask a question, which often has a slow rambling, meandering introduction that feels more like the thousand and one nights of a shared Nazi than anything inflaming dreamt up. Cut the preliminary flimflam. You don't need a runway to pick up speed. You can just take off if you know what question to ask, get to the point and ask it and if you must have a lead in phrase try out of curiosity, it lessens the heaviness of any question. It makes it easier to ask an answer. So that's read straight from the book, the coaching habit by Michael Bungay Stanier. Now, I hate it when other people will do this to me when you're sitting there and going, I know a question is coming but you know, it's not coming anytime soon. And if I'm honest, I actually catch myself doing it. Sometimes I hate when I do it. It annoys me and it kind of frustrates me that I , I default or sometimes go to that. Um, and sometimes you know, it's a , it's a maybe a symptom of lack of confidence or you're not quite sure if you should be asking the question, you feel uncomfortable and you, I think you're going to soften it by doing this long, you know , explanation. But why you need to ask the question, you know, if I think through the best interviewers on TV and encourage you to do this as well, watch how long their questions are. They're really not long at all. Right. And certainly in comparison to the business world there , they're not long. They ask the minimum amount needed to get the question asked, and then they hand over basically, you know, to the point of , of the question, which is to get the other person talking. And we had the same goal as sales people . We want the other person talking. So the more time that we take up leading into these questions, the more time and oxygen that we take away from the person. We really want to hear what they have to say. And a reporter or an interviewer recognizes that the time is probably the most important thing and they need to get to the point. So very quickly, action from this thought is, do you find yourself doing this? Now? Be honest with yourself, right? Most of us take a little bit too long to ask questions. So if you find yourself doing it, challenge yourself to get to the point more often and more quickly. See what you can do to shorten your questions, even to the point where you might feel a little bit uncomfortable even being so blunt in your mind when you're asking these questions and to the author's point. And Michael Bungay Stanier his point, if you do have to have some certain lead-in , at least go with something like out of curiosity or I'm interested to know or I'd value your opinion, something like that. There's just a very, very short lead in cause it's gonna if it makes you feel better doing it like that and then getting to the point of the question. So that's the challenge for this week.

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if you liked this episode, please share it wide and far spread the word. I get energy from seeing people download and use this content. So please just take 20 seconds to share with anyone you think would like it to

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The episode is sponsored by unstoppable dot du . Most sales teams are not trained effectively the skills and mindset they deserve, and these are the most important people in the company. It's no wonder that only about 50% of reps make quarter every year. Unstoppable is a service that helps sellers and leaders get great at the skills and mindset they need without taking time out of the field. It exists because if the sales team has the right skills and mindset, they thrive. They are confident and the performance or

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much better, find out more and even get a free sales book@bitesizesales.com

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the nerdier wrap up as Todd Olson, VP of sales at Varo may or may not have one said training without implementation is just entertainment and preparer entertainment when Monaghan does it. So make sure you take action on what you learned and keep getting better every day. This world does not need more sales BS, so don't create anymore . Be great at the fundamentals. Be honest, be real. Be yourself. Just do not be us . And finally, I'm setting off as the great Joe Sexton would by saying, gone to sell

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