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Seb Anthony

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Using Questioning Techniques to Influence


I'm currently designing a programme for a contact centre of 'influencing skills'. When doing the training needs analysis it was evident that a section on questioning techniques would be required. I have used the 'questioning funnel' technique in other programmes ,however, would like to take a different approach this time. Does anybody use anything different in their trainig that they would like to share.

Gwen Turpin

3 Responses

  1. Try some spin….

    Take a look at spin selling by
    Neil Rackham…

    It debunks the myth that open and closed questions generate multi and single word answers respectively. It further expands this to examine investigation – with sales success, using q’s to uncover implied needs. Actually the more I look at it, it has a great deal to say about questioning.

    The funnel technique implies you are primarily training inbound; if you are only looking for inbound I’m not so sure this is as useful.

  2. Try Action Learning techniques

    Reg Revans’ (sadly died recently)approach is interesting for self development/encouraging learning through questioning – ie Learning = Programmed knowledge + Questioning insight – one way to use is to put Participant in ring and let each other Participant ask open questions (eg what would happen if?) but the target Participant is not allowed to answer (only to jot down questions and then to discuss their overall impact at the end)- other useful ideas (I hope) might be (a)the simple ‘Who knows? (that there is a problem), Who cares?, Who can/will do something about it?'(one of Peter Cockman’s favourites), or (b) Kipling’s 6 Wise Men (who, what, why, when, where, how)

  3. Spin Selling

    I also recommend Neil Rackham’s Spin Selling as a model for developing questioning skills. (See Mark’s response below)


    David Nicoll


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