The Art of Questioning

The art of questioning
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Earlier this morning, in our life coach training with LoveYourself, we discussed the importance of asking the right questions for our People Living with HIV (PLHIV) clients when we counsel them. As if I don’t have enough on my plate, I volunteered to be one of the life coaches of LoveYourself Cebu. This organization provides HIV screening, counseling, and education to prevent the spread of the epidemic among the youth and key affected populations.

As an HIV counselor myself, I wasn’t able to consider this thing before. All I want to do is inquire about my clients’ sexual behaviors and avoid acquiring the virus or manage it if they already have one. As I stepped higher in the counseling hierarchy, I realized the importance of asking these questions to assist them better.

After our session, I realized that this could also be applied in the business setting as well. One of the steps that I undergo in my client prospecting process is the discovery call as a freelancer myself. To ensure that I understand the main problems my client is currently facing, I need to ask relevant questions.

But the thing is, before, I ask these questions for the sake of asking. I realized that some of the questions that I gave to my prospects were shallow, which needs to be improved. 

Some of the questions that I should ask are the following:

Closed questions

Used to get facts from the prospects, these are usually yes and no questions. To be honest, before, I thought that these types of questions are discouraged, but it’s one of the most important types of questions that you could ask your clients. To avoid sounding like you’re interrogating the client, provide the reason why you’re asking this question to your prospect.

Scaling question

For you to understand what your client is going through, quantifying it would greatly help you. For example, to gauge the knowledge of your client in terms of digital marketing, you could ask them, “on a scale of one to five, how knowledgeable are you in terms of social media?” It would help you assess the language that you’re going to use using the call so that he can understand you better.

Clarifying questions

A necessary type of question that is essential during discovery calls, you could use this question to clarify some things that didn’t understand. As what they say, it’s safe not to assume, so to ensure that you and your prospect are on the same page, asking this question is also necessary.

Reflective questions

Sometimes, there are cases that the client subconsciously knows what he wants, but they still need to dig deeper to discover it. By asking these questions, you are helping them get through that process faster, and indeed, they’ll be grateful for that.

As a freelancer, you need to get to the root cause of your clients’ needs so that you will be able to assist them better. If you don’t, problems will undoubtedly arise when you work together, which could’ve been prevented if you asked the right questions during the discovery call process.

6 Responses

  1. Wow! These sets of questions are really helpful. I realized that I really need to ask more questions to deliver better work quality for my future and current clients. Thank you for sharing Maurice!

  2. These questions will definitely help us understand what businesses need to explain from their end for us to know what help we can give to them. Knowing their problems is essential for us marketers to create a strategy that will help solve their problems.

  3. Asking questions is one of my phobias when I was young until college days. I learned to ask questions when I started to work as a full-time employee because it badly needs to ask in order to finish my task. Side chika, I learned that asking questions still valid whether it is right or wrong as long as I want to express what’s on my mind. It is a piece of advice to my young self that asking the wrong questions to anyone is still valid. 🙂

  4. The is very real. In Nursing, we call it therapeutic communication and we always make sure to never offend our patients. Sensitivity and empathy are two elements we should always consider when asking questions with different groups.

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