The Weekly Buzz – Ask Me No Questions, I’ll Tell You No Information
“George was a good little monkey and always very curious.” My colleague Kevin Sambat posted a thought-provoking piece last week on curiosity in sales. He’s not talking about the exact same kind of curiosity as Margaret and H.A. Rey attributed to the famous children’s book character. In fact, at Maestro we definitely do not recommend leaping off cruise ships, placing fake emergency phone calls, feeding trumpets to zoo animals, or basically anything else Curious George ever did.
When psychology researchers talk about curiosity, they are talking about a mindset that leads to asking questions, trying new things, and seeking to understand why things work they way they do. How can you embody this productive approach at work?
Examine Your Beliefs
The last time we talked about questions in the Buzz, we recommended asking questions in your sales emails. After you start an approach, it’s wise to keep checking in on the data to see if it’s working for you. The folks at Drift and Outreach put out a deep and data-rich e-book on email recently examining this approach to cold emails as well as a number of other aspects. While they did find a higher response rate to emails with questions, they didn’t find it significant. Does that mean the Boomerang study that inspired our original advice was wrong? No, but it does mean more study is needed. Something that makes little difference in a cold email can be the game-changer further down the funnel.
Listen to People
My favorite part of Kevin’s take on curiosity is the focus on how curiosity can build relationships. It is all about listening and showing your interest in other people. When you ask questions, you open doors to really understanding your teammates and prospects. Not all questions are created equal, though. Hubspot has this cool guide to questions that build rapport in the sales relationship.
Assess Your Meetings
In a classic example of the Dunning-Kruger effect, 79% of managers think they lead extremely or very productive meetings, but 73% of meeting attendees spend time during meetings doing other work and 90% spend time daydreaming. If you want to lead better meetings, the first step is to really understand how you are doing now. Steven G. Rogelberg, author of The Surprising Science of Meetings: How You Can Lead Your Team to Peak Performance, suggests assessment methods which leaders can follow up with good preparation, facilitation, and tactics for including all attendees.
Need an outsider’s objective perspective? Join our next webinar on sales pipeline meetings!