This photograph was taken in 2011 of my son, JW, and me on the day he learned to ride a bike.  It is one of my favorite memories, followed closely by the same moment had with his older siblings 😊.

When children are able to master a skill on their own for the very first time, it is a magical experience for them.  As parents, we know it is essential they fail until they don’t…  We know it’s a journey that every child must experience to learn “how to learn”… and this pattern in childhood, evolves into adulthood.

In a recent client engagement working with Partners, Chad Sanderson and Carlos Nouche, we discussed how this understanding of self-discovery is so critical for sellers, or anyone aiming to influence.  We watched as participants in our workshop went on the same journey as JW; falling, scraping a knee and experiencing real fear before that moment of balance when they “get it”.

Sellers are confronted everyday with this challenge.  We have all been there either receiving a “pitch” or giving one, when the anticipated connection doesn’t happen or the Prospect “doesn’t get it”.  It may seem counterintuitive to some, but the answer is in the questions.

Properly prepared questions to enlighten and educate stimulate the brain and “trip” the curiosity circuit.  Curiosity is a basic element of our cognition, a motivator for learning and influential in decision-making.  Understanding how this occurs in a transaction is essential, in that, it’s not what you say but what you ask that steers a prospect toward an opinion supported by a deeper understanding.

So in preparation for your next meeting, think about how your offering is truly differentiated, as a foundation to build questions that expand your prospect’s interpretation of the problems you solve.  Keep in mind every client has a preference of how they will take their journey.  It’s their journey.  Our questions simply guide them.  In order to align, we must be thoughtful in our engagement and fight the urge to “tell”.

We know this process increases dopamine in the brain creating a high, similar to the feeling JW is having as his bike balances on 2 wheels.  Don’t cheat them of the experience to discover on their own the unique capabilities and value they found by partnering with you.  It’s not just about the science, it simply makes them feel good, increases collaboration and sets you apart in the process.

Good Selling!


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As a Vice President of Visualize, Gerard helps organizations improve business metrics by creating a better connection with their customer’s definition of value. He is focused on refining his client’s selling approach & their ability to differentiate – to drive increased revenues, market share and profitability.

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