This ability is not common and the inability to ask direct questions lies at the bottom of many persisting problems that clients have. Client will complain about a work situation or a situation where a prospect does unexpected things and then does not want to pay. The client does his best, but time after time he ends up being disappointed with the results of his transaction.
A person can be drilled until he overcomes the inability to ask direct questions, but the drilling is only good for a single type of transaction, because the underlying cause of the inability has not been addressed.
For example, salesmen are drilled mercilessly until they can cut through a customers objections and ask for the order, but the usual result is a robotic insistence on getting the order, and does not result in getting agreement from the customer.
The barrier to asking direct questions comes from being punished for rudeness or for being impolite. This is why only police or inquisitors will confidently ask direct questions because they are permitted to be rude and impolite.
In normal conversation, one is trying to get agreement through persuasion and good manners. When someone is trying to take advantage of you, and you are not expecting it, you will go into agreement with the most outrageous requests. Even when you suspect that you are being taken advantage of, your efforts at reasoning and requests for fairness will be ineffectual and you will waste time and money because you did not ask the right question at the beginning of the transaction.
If you did not have beings who shudder at direct confrontation with evil and duplicity, you would be able to ask a prospect questions that will reveal how much time and money he is willing to spend to handle his problem.
Instead, you generally let him go on and on about his problem without determining whether he is even willing to pay for a result to his problem.
If you were honest about your ability to help this person and you knew from experience that it would take a certain amount of time to handle the problem, you already know how much money it would cost him to get any particular result he wants.
In your initial discussion, you do not want him to analyze his problem, you want him to describe a result that would be worth paying you for.
He will happily spend hours describing his problem and his feelings about that problem and you will have not made any progress to making him into a customer. When you make him describe a result that is worth paying for, you are bringing him and his beings right into present time.
This where you can say that is a good result to shoot for and it will take approximate time and will cost at least $XX with a $YY deposit.
At this point, he will agree or may say without hesitation,”That’s too much money to pay!”
If you have done your homework, you can say with good humor, “That is what it will take to get the result you have described, but I am sure there are others who can give you another quote.” You will have completed qualifying this prospect and will have spent less than 10 minutes. With a little practice, you can get it down to 5 minutes.
It is only very recently that I realized I can freely ask direct questions if I want to. This is a direct result of my SRT processing. It speeds things up immensely when I can ask for the information I want to know.
I will cover how to overcome the inability to ask direct questions politely in Part 2 of this article which should appear in a few days.
David St Lawrence