Ivan Seguro

Should I start by introducing myself or by asking questions during my first engagement?

On the one hand, it is difficult for a person to understand what you’re communicating unless you state it clearly. This is especially true for executives who want to digest information fast.

On the other hand, we know from sales research that the least successful salespeople rush into describing a solution to a prospect. And the more successful tend to ask more questions.

  • They ask factual questions to assess the context.
  • They ask problem questions to activate understanding of a product required to resolve.
  • They ask questions to confirm the consequences of their problems.
  • And the most successful salespersons present their solution mostly in the form of benefits. Mostly in the form of questions.

It’s a confusing term, but in commercial writing the first paragraph often is referred to as “Lead”. It’s called that because it serves a purpose to draw attention of a reader so that the reader continues reading. Here, we are trying to avoid presentation at the first touchpoints and focus on the problem we tend to solve. And its scale. And why should the reader care.

Ethos is a Greek term that generally describes who the speaker is. It seems to be a necessary concept for thousands of years. It can be somewhat of a substitute for a presentation, when you generally try to deliver an impression in regards to your values, your passionateness, and balance of that with the risk assessment, and such. Is it possible to convey ethos in the process of asking questions? I think the answer is yes.

What’s the bottomline? Presentation is not the only way to convey ethos. It’s maybe plausible to state clearly who you are and why you are in the room. But then, maybe immediately you want to move on with asking questions. Like a doctor.