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Are You Asking The Right Questions?

executives inmail networking recruiting sales social selling strategy Mar 08, 2022

Raise your hand if you’ve ever hit a wall in your sales or recruiting process! We’ve all been there. Anyone who works in a sales or recruiting role will tell you, no technique or process yields a “yes” 100 percent of the time. If there were a perfect process, everyone would do it. 

Whether you’re finding the right candidate for an open position or attracting a new customer, there’s a human on the other end of your process—and that complicates things. Because you can never quite predict what will resonate with someone else, it’s important to test new approaches, look at the data, and keep what works.

If there were a perfect process, everyone would do it.

Next time you’re feeling stuck, try a new approach. Here’s an idea for your digital or LinkedIn outreach communications: Ask for the clarity you need. As simple as it sounds, embracing the right kinds of questions can be a game-changer. Instead of guessing where your prospect stands, just ask! It’s amazing what kind of information you can uncover when you give people the opportunity to provide it. 

These are a few of the guidelines I recommend to my clients: 

 

USE VERIFYING QUESTIONS. 

Not just any question will be helpful in your sales or recruiting outreach process. I tend to find questions that help you understand where a prospect is in the decision process, what I call verifying questions, are most impactful. Here are some examples of questions I love to use and teach my clients:  

  • Would you be open to a conversation? 

  • Should we connect for a call? Or would you prefer to hold off on the call for now and review this free checklist instead? 

  • Should we connect in the coming weeks or in Q2? 

These questions (and ones like it) give people an opportunity to quickly let you know what they want and need and how you can help. Done well, they can save you time, too by keeping you from engaging someone who’s just not ready to move forward yet. 

 

MAKE IT EASY TO ANSWER.  

The point of a question is to elicit a response. To increase your chances of getting an answer, make it easy to respond. You can reduce the burden of answering by asking questions with discrete answers. For example, consider questions that only require a simple yes or no. Alternatively, give recipients “this or that” questions that offer different paths and help you understand which direction to take your conversation. 

Note that questions that require a lengthy written response can become a burden in a digital messaging format. Open-ended questions, like “What are the biggest frustrations you’re facing right now?” are best left for live conversations where they will spark conversation. 

 

BE THOUGHTFUL ABOUT QUESTION PLACEMENT. 

When you use a question, be sure to think about how people digest content. Most people skim to the bottom and look for the main point. So, try placing your question toward the end of your message, where it’s least likely to be missed. I recommend putting it on a separate line so it stands out even more. This placement lessens your chances of someone scrolling past your message with no response. 

 

STICK WITH IT. 

It’s tempting to write off a new approach if you don’t see results on the first try. But these things take time! To give any tactic a fair chance, commit to it for a certain length of time or number of outreaches. Then, look at the data. Is it working? How often? 

Even if your first outreach is met with crickets, don’t move on just yet. Always follow-up! Sometimes, busy schedules or bad timing get in the way of a quick response, but a courteous check-in can often yield the response you’re seeking. 

 

CHOOSE YOUR CHANNEL CAREFULLY. 

When it comes to LinkedIn, don’t always lead with InMail. Think of InMail as a mailbox where you drop a flyer. It’s a great tool for generating awareness, but you probably won’t have as much outreach success through InMail as you might in a LinkedIn message to an existing connection, where you have already established some sort of relationship. 

 

SUMMARY 

Asking the right questions can provide a new source of information, clarity, and connection in your sales or recruiting outreach process. As you find successes with these tactics, let me know! Or, if you’re looking for even more ways to generate traction, check out my newest free guide to discover how to be an MVP on LinkedIn. 

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