Following are three questions I've found lead to a richer dialog with respondents.
These are not the only questions to ask; however, I recommend making sure you ask them when talking to prospects, customers, channel partners and even management teams to determine is everyone is in alignment.
- Can you tell more more about that? When a respondent tells you something you haven't heard before, or weren't expecting, make sure to ask a follow-up question so you understand what's behind their answer. This is another reason I prefer one-on-one's in person or via telephone, so I can engage in an open dialog with the respondent.
- What needs does our product (or service) fulfill for you? What else? Keep asking "What else?" until the respondent doesn't have anything else to add. Once you have the list of the needs your product or service provides, ask follow-up questions or for stories that provide examples of how your product/service has helped the respondent.
- What have I failed to ask you that you think we need to know about . . . (the topic of discussion)? I always like to end with this question since it gives the respondent the opportunity to provide insights on any topics about which we were not smart enough to ask up front. It also gives the respondent the opportunity to provide additional feedback on questions raised earlier in the discussion that has occurred to them since you moved on to another question.