When Your Lead Asks "What's This All About?"

by Michael Oliver

When calling a lead, do you ever get asked the question, "So what's this all about?"

Have you been trained to have an answer already made up?

Are you sure you know what it is that your lead is really asking?

The answer is almost certainly no, you don't! And any assumption on your part will reduce any ground you may have gained so far in your communication.

What someone says and what they are really asking for is often quite different.

If you do reply with a stock phrase or what you think may be the correct answer and you are wrong, your lead most likely won't tell you! They will just leave you in the dark!

Why? Because at this point they aren't thinking they should have been clearer with their question.

What they're thinking is, that you are not listening to them! And that you're sounding like someone who is more interested in your own agenda of trying to sell something.

Think about your own experience. How many times have you asked a question and had someone misinterpret its meaning? How did you feel about that person?

Let's get back to the question "So what's this all about?" This question could mean a variety of things such as:

What do I have to do?

What does the company do?

What is the company all about?

What do you do?

So how do you find out what they really mean?

Simply ask! And here's a suggestion as to how to do that.

"Just so I can be sure to answer your question precisely, when you say 'What's this all about'... what do you mean by that?"

Help them a little to define what it is that is being asked. Reflect back to them to be sure that you understand what it is that they are asking. You'll then get a more precise picture and the dialogue will continue to flow without interruption.

You'll notice that I emphasize the importance of not immediately assuming that you know what someone means when they say something. The reason I emphasize this so much is because it helps to avoid a lot of potential traps and pitfalls.

It's all part of the one of the basic principles of Natural Selling - "Listening To What Is Being Meant, Not Just What Is Being Said." Asking questions to clarify what someone really means is a simple, practical and very effective way to put this principle into practice.

After all, you're not a mind reader so why try to guess what someone means?

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