Koala Bears & Great Questions…

I’m in Brisbane, Australia where we’ve just won the Gold Medal for basketball in the World Masters Games. The Games are basically Olympic sports for athletes 35 years and older. I still play on the US team.

So it’s our day off before heading home and I (the 2 guard) am with my point guard, Chuck. We’re visiting Lone Pine, the biggest Koala bear sanctuary in the world.

A woman is giving a presentation on the plight of the koala. Poor, beautiful (and stinky!) animal was almost hunted to extinction until 1910. The last month hunting was allowed, 600,000 pelts were taken. A picture pops on the screen and the crowd gasps as this old tin-type photo shows two guys with rifles and a huge mound of bearskins, maybe 30 feet high behind them.

“Help save these animals,” the woman pleads. “They are now in danger again, losing their food source to real estate development.”

She finishes this emotional tug on our hearts with, “Does anyone have any questions?”

My hand shoots up and dozens of heads turn to me as I ask,

“WHAT DOES THEIR MEAT TASTE LIKE?”

Half the crowd explodes with laughter, as half gasp in horror. The woman stutters a response about not knowing and you don’t eat them…

So one of my life missions is accomplished – make people laugh. And there’s a wonderful selling lesson here, too.

GREAT questions distinguish great sales pros from medicore.

Do you ask questions that make buyers stop and think? Questions that show them the inevitable consequences of their decision-making? Questions that speak thoughts they haven’t yet landed on?

Try on some of these, for example;

What if you didn’t buy a solution for another six months, would it make a difference?

What have you tried before and why didn’t it work?

Have you ever quantified the impact of this concern to the company?

Ask GREAT questions and you can guarantee your sales career, unlike the Koala, will never get near the brink of extinction.

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