‘Come on, it’s bath time.’
‘Er because if you don’t have a bath you’ll be dirty’
‘Because you went mental and cried when I said you couldn’t.’
Who, what, where, when, how. The beauty of open questions is that a simple ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ doesn’t cut it. My two-year-old son has learnt this with ear bleeding consequences for his dad. So much so that some of the sales people that pitch us could do with a bit of ‘Billy’ training.
As a media agency representing over 25 venues, destinations and suppliers, we speak to dozens of sales people every day.
Over a year we’ll probably handle several hundred pitches, designed to sell us something to help our clients promote themselves.
I can count on one hand the number of those that ask us one open question (‘How are you?’ Doesn’t count I’m afraid.) ONE HAND. I’m not exaggerating it’s that depressing.
Our clients have a huge collective spend, yet hardly anyone has the foresight to ask us questions that’ll help them work out our clients’ needs. How do you know what you’re offering us is right for the client if you don’t know anything about the client? It’s utter madness.
Imagine going on a date and the evening consisting of being spoken at for the entire evening, that’s what it feels like. Have you got a friend that talks about himself constantly and never asks you anything? Tiresome isn’t it?
So, alongside it being the Year of the Horse (or something markedly different if you were watching the BBC with subtitles recently), let’s make 2014 the year of the open question. May the horse be with you.