If you’ve been following the Greek debt crisis, well done…
… I’ve absolutely no idea what’s going on.
(When I try to read the news I end up feeling like a toddler trying to grasp the language for the first time.)
What has struck me over the past few weeks has been the struggle of news organisations to try and inject some kind of drama into the mix.
We’re talking about debt negotiations.
Good luck trying to find the drama in that.
Cleverly, the news agencies have tried to make it easier for us without an economics PhD, but framing some story elements.
The Greek prime minister is the damsel in distress.
The French and Italians the wannabe knights in shining armour riding to Greece’s rescue.
And the Germans (as always) appear to be the baddies.
Ruthless, hard-headed and ready to cut off their nose to spite their face to teach the Greeks a lesson.
But, for the moment, I’m not interested in the storytelling elements of this Greek tragedy.
No. It’s the referendum a week before which fascinated me.
In it, the Greek people overwhelmingly voted No to the austerity package in front of them.
60%. That’s a huge number. It’s unprecedented.
If that wasn’t a clearer message that the Greeks want no part of a choking finance deal, then what would.
So what happened next?
The Greek government completely ignored it.
In the face of opposition they signed up to a deal which is even more restrictive than the one previously on offer.
Which must go down as one of the most pointless exercises in the history of European government.
Asking is important.
You should do it LOTS.
But the other necessary element to asking is listening.
Asking is pointless if you don’t listen to the answers and act on them.
In fact, it’s worse.
Have you ever been asked to give your opinion only to find them person or business asking ends up doing something completely counter to your suggestion?
That doesn’t mean firing out a Survey Monkey questionnaire whenever it takes your fancy.
Just asking your ideal prospects and customers isn’t enough.
Asking them the right questions at the right time is where you’ll find your gold.
(Even better, get a third party to ask them – they’ll be more honest).
- Ask the right questions and you can:
- Get new ideas for products your prospects actually want to buy
- Understand what their current pains and hot buttons are
- Discover whether your competition is gaining traction over you
- Identify any trends or patterns which you can exploit
- Highlight any customer service issues which may have slipped past you
Even the act of being asked makes your customers feel valued – as long as you genuinely want to listen to their answers.
This is the approach I regularly use.
It’s through asking prospects that I eventually decided to launch the series of Live Training workshops, starting with How To Sell Without Being Salesy.
That was a direct need that the group of people I asked said they needed but couldn’t find any sales copy training which addressed that need.
Asking can be really helpful and takes all the guesswork out.
It’s great for understanding and learning how to eventually sell your products, too.
(The title was taken from actual words used by one of people I asked).
There is a huge caveat to this, which I’ll discuss later this week.
It’s the fact that customers LIE.
And they lie ALL the time.
So you can’t trust them or their answers unless you take a few essential steps which I’ll reveal in this blog on Wednesday.
If you’re a subscriber to my daily emails, I’m dedicating an email to many of the questions I’ve received about the upcoming training on Wednesday 22nd July. I’ve had so many it makes sense responding to these in a single email so everyone can see rather than responding individually.
If you’re keen on the training before it jumps in price, watch out for tomorrow’s email.
If not, ignore it and I’ll see you on Wednesday.
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