KA05 Asking Questions to Understand Your Customers for anyone in sales by Dave Kahle
Want to get to know me better (or anyone really)? Just ask one of the below “get to know you” questions… they’re meant to be fun, interesting questions that can help you learn more about the person you are talking to. These questions can be great for team-building, learning more about your fellow co-workers, and for spicing up your standard introductions.
A quick caveat: there are thousands of interesting questions to get to know someone, but I’ve found that the below questions (pulled from games like Table Topics, shows like Inside the Actor’s Studio, and from my own brain) are unique or interesting enough to force a person to think. If they’ve been asked the same question a thousand times before, it’s not as effective in engaging the person in your conversation. And these are just a starting point; take these team-building questions and modify them to meet your needs and situation.
“WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE…” QUESTIONS
Asking someone about their favorite blank is a great way to get know them better and learn about their preferences and opinions. These questions are good for when you are first meeting someone and are easy to incorporate as part of introductions in a larger group, such as asking each person to say their name, role, and favorite food as a child.
- What was your favorite food when you were a child?
- What’s the #1 most played song on your iPod?
- What is one of your favorite quotes?
- What’s your favorite indoor/outdoor activity?
- What chore do you absolutely hate doing?
- What is your favorite form of exercise?
- What is your favorite time of day/day of the week/month of the year?
- What’s your least favorite mode of transportation?
- What is your favorite body part?
- What sound do you love?
“WHAT IF…” QUESTIONS
Hypothetical questions help you learn more about another person’s personality, as well as their ideal state of the world. Since many of these questions might evoke longer responses, they are better suited for one-on-one conversations or smaller group discussions.
- If you could throw any kind of party, what would it be like and what would it be for?
- If you could paint a picture of any scenery you’ve seen before, what would you paint?
- If you could choose to stay a certain age forever, what age would it be?
- If you knew the world was ending in 2012, what would you do differently?
- If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor?
- If you could witness any event past, present or future, what would it be?
- If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
- If you had to work on only one project for the next year, what would it be?
- If you were immortal for a day, what would you do?
- If you had to change your first name, what would you change it to?
- If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would you meet?
- If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do?
- If you were reincarnated as an animal/drink/ice cream flavor, what would it be?
- If you could know the answer to any question, besides “What is the meaning of life?”, what would it be?
- If you could be any fictional character, who would you choose?
Asking personal questions gets right to the purpose of getting to know someone and can be used in smaller groups with elaborate answers or larger groups with quick responses.
- Which celebrity do you get mistaken for?
- What do you want to be when you grow up?
- When you have 30 minutes of free-time, how do you pass the time?
- What would you name the autobiography of your life?
- What songs are included on the soundtrack to your life?
PERSONAL HISTORY QUESTIONS
Questions involving people’s past help give you insight into their character and background by revealing memorable moments from the person’s life. These are great for one-on-one interactions or for smaller, more intimate groups. These questions help build trust as they are more personal than some of the other types of questions.
- Have you ever had something happen to you that you thought was bad but it turned out to be for the best?
- What was one of the best parties you’ve ever been to?
- What was the last movie, TV show or book that made you cry or tear up?
- What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done?
- What was the last experience that made you a stronger person?
- What did you do growing up that got you into trouble?
- When was the last time you had an amazing meal?
- What’s the best/worst gift you’ve ever given/received?
- What do you miss most about being a kid?
- What is your first memory of being really excited?
- What was the first thing you bought with your own money?
- When was the last time you were nervous?
- What is something you learned in the last week?
- What story does your family always tell about you?
- At what age did you become an adult?
Random questions can be a great way to add some quirkiness to introductions or a conversation. These are best used when each person gets a different question because they intentionally break people’s expectations with an abstract question in the midst of a variety of other questions.
- Is a picture worth a thousand words? Elaborate.
- Where’s Waldo?
- The best part of waking up is?
- How now brown cow?