the sky floor

Please, Ask “Stupid” Questions

July 29, 2021

The adage says, “there are no stupid questions, only stupid answers,” but it can be a challenging concept to practice. Why? Well, who likes feeling or appearing stupid?

I know I don’t. So even though there are some excellent reasons to ask questions you think have obvious answers, it can feel daring to muster up the courage to ask such a question.

Here is the truth: even when I think I know the answer, if I ask the question and use the power of a pause, I always get more information than before I assumed the answer. 

Therefore asking “stupid” questions is a critical part of sales, defining scope, and learning more about your client or customer. 

One way to ask such a question while softening the feeling of asking a question you think is obvious is to follow up a statement your customer makes with “tell me more about that.” But don’t be afraid to be specific. 

If you think of questions while you talk with a client and find yourself guessing the answers, ask anyway! The worst that will happen is that you will be correct, but you will learn something you didn’t know more often than not.  

As a bonus, your client will appreciate your curiosity; they will feel heard and understood, and that is a recipe for winning work and providing fantastic value. 

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