This is the second in a two-part Business English Pod lesson on questioning techniques. Last time in BEP 64 we looked at making small talk and gathering information with open questions, getting specific information with probing questions and guiding the conversation by showing interest.
This time we’ll learn several more advanced questioning techniques, including direct questions, to get information from someone who is being uncommunicative, reflective questions, to guide the conversation, and hypothetical questions, to suggest possible action. Together these techniques form a series that can be used to drill down to the information you need.
As you’ll remember, the listening takes place in a customer needs analysis: Brad, from chemical coatings producer Forrest and Brown, is visiting his customer Andy. Andy’s company, Stratos, puts together circuit boards for use in consumer electronics.
At the end of Part 1 , Brad had just used a probing question to determine what exact kinds of products Andy’s company focuses on. When he discovered that Stratos was making a lot of boards for TVs, Brad decides to follow this line of questioning. As we’ll see, this is because TVs are a good match for Brad’s products.
The specific kind of TV they are talking about is an LCD TV, often referred to as a flat screen TV.
1) LCD TVs produce a lot of heat. Why is this important to Brad’s sales pitch?
2) What are Andy’s main priorities in selecting conformal coatings to protect the circuit boards Stratos produces?
3) What are the main good points of the coating that Brad wishes to sell to Andy?