There I was, sitting with the Good Prospect at long last, and suddenly the conversation was flagging.
Worse, it seemed as if I was the one being interviewed, instead of me learning about my prospect’s needs and pain.
I was desperate to steer the conversation back to the prospect’s business, and ultimately, how I might be able to help them.
Suddenly I remembered Melvyn Bragg.
What are good questions to ask?
I listen to BBC podcasts of Melvyn Bragg: In Our Time ; they are jolly, and jolly interesting, but most of all, Melvyn asks questions that keep the conversation rolling.
I have noted some of his questions as the days roll by.
My list will be updated and taped above my phone, so I’ll have a series of prompts while I’m on the phone, to help me keep the conversation going.
P.S. Please see also “ Ping-Pong Conversations ”
P.P.S. Here are some examples of Melvyn’s questions:-
(1) What do we know of ...?
(2) Can you explain what you mean by ...?
(3) You mentioned ___. How did that arise?
(4) Can you explain what the position is ...?
(5) (Statement). Could you explain why that is?
(6) What do you mean by ...?
(7) Can we spend a moment discussing ...?
(8) Why is it so important that ...?
(9) How does this affect ...?
(10) How was that achieved?
(11) Why is that the case?
(12) For most of us that needs a little bit more explanation.
(13) How do you go about doing that?
(14) What did you get out of this?
(15) Who had expected (that)?
(16) Could you give me a bit more detail?
(17) Can you fill me in a little bit more about what they (neutrinos!) do?
(18) Can you bring me up to speed on ___?
(19) Why is it so (dramatic)?