Scott’s Thoughts: Knowing All the Answers

β€œIt is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers.”

James Thurber(1894 βˆ’ 1961), American author, cartoonist

Image of brain puzzling over questions.When we meet with clients, we often think the best preparation is being able to anticipate any question a client may ask. We think if we have all the answers, we’ll be the logical choice to represent them in the purchase or sale of their home.

But the truth is something quite different. “If I know all the answers, I’ll win their business,” isn’t the lock we think it is. In fact, trying to know all of the answers may be the surest way to lose a client.

Your goal is never to overwhelm clients with your knowledge. This can come off as high-pressure and low-confidence. You can’t strong-arm people into trusting you by bombing them with information.

The path to trust in meetings is through collaboration. For a meeting to be a successful collaborative effort, you must turn to the question, not the answer, as your most useful tool.

Questions, not answers, allow people to arrive at conclusions together. And we’re not talking about leading questions, either. If you open with, “Wouldn’t you agree that…” you’re simply reframing your own facts and assumptions in the form of a question to coerce others. (It won’t work. They may agree with you in the short term, but when they’ve had time to reflect, the tables will turn.)

You can build trust without knowing all the answers. You only need to know a few good questions.


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