Do you mind if I just ask…? The power of questions and curious minds
By Emily Tanner, Senior Account Executive
Were you that child at school who always had their hand up? Were you curious, inquisitive, did you want to know more? School might be a distant memory and we probably think we know everything by the time we’re eighteen but there’s a poster here at our Bermondsey Street offices that tells visitors to “Ask More Questions”, and it got me thinking. As we communicate each day, I get the feeling that we just don’t ask enough.
If you don’t know things, you can’t make things happen – or at least you can’t make the right things happen. If you’ve never made a cake before, you wouldn’t just smash some eggs into some flour, stick the oven on at 100 degrees and hope for the best: you’d get a recipe or ask someone how to do it. It’s not ignorance to ask, it’s interest. And taking an interest is crucial; taking an interest gets results.
“It’s not ignorance to ask, it’s interest.”
Firstly, take an interest in your clients and their business. Once you know the details it’s so much easier to paint the bigger picture. You might receive some top line information about a new initiative your client is part of, think little of it and draft quick release, as you need to get this out the next day. You get a few decent pieces of coverage, nothing special.
Only had you dug a little deeper and asked your client a few more questions you’d have discovered that this initiative is the first of its kind, truly innovative and likely to lead to significant changes in their industry. With this story, you’d have got a front page splash in The Financial Times, pick up across eighty per cent of the nationals and coverage in every trade you could imagine.
Ask questions, dig a little deeper and you’re more likely to get the right results your client really wants.
Perhaps more importantly, are the second kind of questions we have to ask. Because clients come to us with questions of their own. Whilst we don’t always have the answers, it’s so important that we get them. Ask yourself, ask the internet, ask other people who might have a better idea – just make sure you find out.
Get all of the information you can before you make that call because having knowledge, is having power. It gives you the power to make the best choices you can, give the advice that can truly transform and get the results you need.
That is the whole point of questions. Getting the knowledge you need. How can you know things without finding out? Ignorance is a lack of knowledge or information. There’s nothing wrong with that – we all lack knowledge and information at times – as long as you add a good dash of interest to counteract.
So let’s stop apologising when we ask questions. It might take thirty seconds out of your colleague or client’s day – but better that than giving ill-informed advice to a client or selling in a story that won’t get picked up.
“So let’s stop apologising when we ask questions.”
Ask More Questions. Why? Get Better Results.