We all know that asking the right questions is key to success, that asking the wrong questions can have the opposite effect and that this applies not just in business but to life in general.

You’ll know this is true if you have teenagers in your household. Treading carefully is an artform when it comes to getting any response from a teenager. Ask well-timed, caring questions and you’re more likely to get a positive response – but jump straight in with the wrong questions and you are most likely to get an eye-rolling, arm-flailing dismissal!

It’s the same when it comes to your firm – the firms with the best performance ask the right questions in a prepared and systematic way.

We have all turned away from someone trying to sell us a car, a house, a washing machine or even shoes when they ask the first clumsy question.

For example, if we had only just met and I started telling you how wonderful our latest washing machine was and all the things it could do for you, you’d likely be put off by the hard sell and by my assumption that you are ready to make the buying decision.

You don’t build value by simply telling your client how great your product or service is. You build value by asking them about the challenges, difficulties and stresses they face with their current product and by having a conversation about how your product or service can take care of all of that.

When you use the SPIN framework to ask the right questions, you will help your clients feel genuine need for your product or service. You will not need to persuade them – they will have already persuaded themselves.