Did you listen to Do You Deal in Trust? How to Unlock it for Your Business W/ Jay Sofer? If you haven’t do check it out as it was the first time Dave took what he learned from the Time article and tried to apply it.

The article from 2013 of all things that was shared is called This Post Will Make You A More Effective Communicator In 90 Seconds that you really should give a read. Go. We will wait. So if you were to interview Elon Musk would you be like Charlie Rose or Kevin Rose?

Kevin: What led you into entrepreneurship? Was it something that you always knew that you wanted to be, an entrepreneur on your own? Or did you stumble into it?
Charlie: What are you doing in terms of planetary exploration?
Kevin: Where do you come up with your best ideas? Are you on vacation, or do you wake up in the middle of the night and draw things down?
Charlie: How did you go about the design?
Kevin: When did you decide to get into computers and technology? Did you start coding? Or was it a lot of…?
Charlie: What do you think?

Most of us would likely conduct the interview like Kevin Rose. Matt and Dave both discuss during the episode the challenge that it is to really nail a question and keep an interview to a conversation. It. Is. Tough. So again, how did Dave do?

When Can Asking Better Questions Help?

  • Job Interviews (either side)
  • Talking with Prospect
  • Talking with Coworkers
  • Sales and Customer Service
  • Account Managers talking with clients

If nothing else, when you are asking questions just stop at the (?) question mark. Don’t keep going, don’t give options. End at the ? and let someone answer you. Don’t give options or multiple questions and parts.

Full Transcript

Matt Siltala: [00:00:00] Welcome to another exciting episode of the business of digital podcast, featuring your host, Matt  and Dave roar. Hey guys, excited to have you join us on another one of these business of digital podcast episodes. And today we are just going to jump right into it, Dave, how’s it going, man?

Dave Rohrer: [00:00:20] It’s going, it’s a crazy end of the week for us.

Not when you hear this, but you know, for us, it is

Matt Siltala: [00:00:27] that’s right. Exactly. So. What we’re going to talk about today, guys is we’re going to talk about how to ask questions and how it can impact your business. And, um, we just got done doing a interview with a friend of ours and, and it may or may not. I don’t know when the,

Dave Rohrer: [00:00:49] this is a couple of weeks after.

So if you did not hear our interview with Jay on unlocking trust, then you should go look us into it

Matt Siltala: [00:00:59] so people [00:01:00] can critique us and you can tell us how good we did or did not do on this. But, uh, this is an interesting one. And, and I guess I’m just going to turn it over to you and share what you want about the article that, uh, you mentioned, uh, Or that you, that you’ve put here that nobody else can see, and you can talk about it and just jump into that with this.

Dave Rohrer: [00:01:19] And this is actually, I believe I might be wrong because I didn’t write it in notes when I found it, um, will Reynolds fault. Oh yeah. For the better, I believe it was him and I might be mistaken. I’d have to look at LinkedIn to be sure, but he posted this link and I thought it was interesting as I read it.

It’s the title of it is it’s a seven, almost seven year old post on time. This post will make you a more effective communicator in 90 seconds. Well,

Matt Siltala: [00:01:49] he’s really good at having that evergreen time.

Dave Rohrer: [00:01:51] I know. Yeah. It’s like, Holy cow. Talk about an old, um, post that’s actually really interesting. Yeah. And [00:02:00] as I read it, I thought about every time we interview someone, How are we doing?

Yeah. How did I do? And it’s usually I actually fall into this trap and what it is, what the trap is. Um, it’s summarized it quite well towards the end is a, there it is. Usually people have a hard time ending sentences. We are uncomfortable with terseness. So we ramble off and trail off until the other person jumps in.

What do you think? We say, do you think X, Y, Z. Basically when you interview, do you give an open ended question or do you somehow make it a multiple choice problem?

Matt Siltala: [00:02:41] Yeah, I think this

Dave Rohrer: [00:02:43] is we’re trying to lead maybe. And sometimes you lead too much.

Matt Siltala: [00:02:47] Yeah. So you and I, and I do it where I try to like where I try to be at work.

Like it’s a conversation. And so maybe I could do a little bit anyway. I just, it’s interesting. Cause it gets me [00:03:00] evaluating like how I do this too

Dave Rohrer: [00:03:02] well. And it’s for job interviews, whether you’re being interviewed or the interview person, you like the interviewee, like either side of it, this is something you could use when you’re talking to a prospect and you ask a question.

Instead of going. So what are your problems, you know, with, do you have technical issues? Do you have this? Don’t suggest that like when you start suggesting things, then it becomes a multiple choice instead of saying, what problems are you having with your digital marketing? What problems are you having?

Matt Siltala: [00:03:40] Yeah, I’m just like looking, Oh, go ahead.

Dave Rohrer: [00:03:43] No, it’s yeah. It’s, it’s just. As an SEO person who’s, you know, or if I know someone who’s contacted me about SEO, I go, Oh, so what are you having problems with your technical SEO? Are you looking for LinkedIn? No, I need to not do that. What do you need [00:04:00] help with? Or where are your pain points?

Like what? I need to rephrase the question and I need not to give them options, but it’s tough.

Matt Siltala: [00:04:12] Yeah.

Dave Rohrer: [00:04:14] Well, yeah. If you think about it, like asking the kids or asking anyone like that type of stuff and what the article talks about, if you don’t want to go and read it, I’ll summarize a couple of parts of it, but yeah, it’s comparing, um, two interviews with Elon Musk who was in the news seven years ago, shock to some people I’m sure.

But it was two interviews, one by a Kevin Rose, formerly of dig, which is funny. Cause we do talk about dig and Charlie Rose, who, if you don’t know who Charlie Rose is, I’m sorry. Um, especially for a person that interviewed host.

Matt Siltala: [00:04:51] Yeah.

Dave Rohrer: [00:04:52] But it compared how one asks questions versus the other. And this is again, seven years ago.

So Charlie would ask, [00:05:00] what do you think? How did it, how did you go about the design? What are you doing in terms of planetary exploration? Very simple questions that don’t lead. Don’t give down the options. Very open-ended Kevin Rose would ask questions. Like when did you decide to get into computers and technology?

Did you start coding or was it a lot of question? Question, question, like.dot, dot. What led you into entrepreneurship? Was it something that you always knew that you wanted to be an entrepreneur on your own? Or did you stumble into it? Like that’s how many questions are you asking me? Um, the other one from Kevin.

Where did you come up with your best ideas? Are you on vacation or do you wake up in the middle of the night and draw things down? So again, multiple questions and if nothing else, when you start asking and talking to people, like stop at the question, Mark. [00:06:00] But I think for me and probably for you, when we do the podcast, we do try to make it so conversational.

And so the reason why we’re doing it right now is because we just interviewed Jay and I tried to change up how I ask questions. I think I did. Okay. But I think I still failed compared to where we want to be.

Matt Siltala: [00:06:23] Well, It

Dave Rohrer: [00:06:25] was the first try where I actually was consciously thinking about how I phrase things, but so much of a time that we podcast it’s you and I, and it’s conversational.

And even when we interview people, we try to make it more conversational. But then when I do have to switch for me, and even for you, when we do switch on that, we want to ask a specific question. I think it’s hard. Yeah,

Matt Siltala: [00:06:52] it is because even I’m going through this and checking out this, uh, this article and we’ll, we’ll have it for you guys.

You guys can click on it [00:07:00] and look at it and see what we’re talking about, but it just, it has me, you know, like even we all do this, how it says, what are you doing for the holidays? Like, I remember, you know, our conversations all the time. I’m like, what are you doing this weekend? You know? Are you staying in town?

Are you doing something? Do you have work to do blah, blah, blah. So it’s interesting to, to evaluate like myself as well. And because again, like you said, like I’m, whether it be you and I, or whether it be, even if we have a couple people on, I always tried to make it like a conversational that’s all I’ve ever thought about.

Dave Rohrer: [00:07:36] Yeah. But when you’re doing an interview or when you’re talking to a client or you’re talking to someone to do work for you. You know, in anything or if you’re a sales or customer service, I think we all were trying to lead them to figure out what, you know, especially if someone’s not technical and you ask them what’s wrong, [00:08:00] you’re like, what’s wrong.

Does it turn on? Did it do that? Like you start giving them multiple choice because you’re trying to speed it up. Well, I’m thinking

Matt Siltala: [00:08:06] of how this could be impactful because how it’s like how it can impact your business. I’m thinking if you have a great skill of being able to do this, You know, if you’re having problems with account managers, for example, if you run an agency, you know, not communicating effectively with, you know, a client or whatnot, or you

Dave Rohrer: [00:08:23] can not very much.

So, you

Matt Siltala: [00:08:25] know what I mean? Yup. This is an exercise, the size that you can run with, run through with them, because I mean, think about this like more times than not Dave, like, you know, correct me if I’m wrong from your experience, but even. Even if a client’s like not happy with the results or they’re not moving up to that number one position as fast as they want or whatever it might be.

If you have a account manager that’s an effective communicator with them and they feel comfortable with them, they’re going to keep you around a lot longer than someone with those kinds of [00:09:00] results that has no communication skills with them.

Dave Rohrer: [00:09:02] Well, yes. And then even internally, I’m just thinking in working at a smaller, large company.

Giving leading questions or giving them multiple options of too, like you’re giving them an out. So like, why don’t you want to do this project? Is it because of the budget? Yes. Well,

Matt Siltala: [00:09:23] yeah.

Dave Rohrer: [00:09:25] So why don’t you, why, why did you not approve the project? Shut up? Don’t say anything more or ask someone why they voted no against something or what.

Or maybe, you know, you wanted them to vote. No. And they, you know, they said, yes, we should go ahead with it. Why are you supporting that? Interesting. Don’t don’t continue it with, is it because of like no stop at the, like, I can just see that being really hard. Yeah. I, I just see that being really hard because you really want to go, is it you like, cause you already think, you know what it is [00:10:00] like you already think, you know, why that person vetoed.

Approving that project or that trip or that expense, or you think, you know why they want to get it done and you’re trying to lead them to it. And you’re trying to validate your, your, your reason why you’re mad at them more and more. You’re happy. I think, you know, or like you said, I think account managers too.

What did you think of the deliverable? Was it up to your standards? Shut up.

You know, like, I, I, I can just see so many times where I would

Matt Siltala: [00:10:34] interview process hiring.

Dave Rohrer: [00:10:37] Yeah. Hiring the same thing. I, I think in hiring I’m, I’m, I’m in the past when I’ve done hiring, I’ve tried not to lead them because I want to hear their answers, but it’s a, for me, I think it’s just a different, like, no, I want them to like avoid landmines or fine landmines or, you know, Validate what I’m thinking, but [00:11:00] I think whenever I’m questioning people, I need to switch that on.

At least for me, I think that’s where I need to figure out when I’m interviewing people. How do I do it and how can I do that all the time? Yeah. That’s

Matt Siltala: [00:11:16] the key

Dave Rohrer: [00:11:17] to my kid’s delight. I’m sure. Um,

Matt Siltala: [00:11:19] yeah, they’re going to love all the follow up questions.

Dave Rohrer: [00:11:22] Yeah. I. I don’t know. I just think it’s such a simple thing, but as we walked through it, and as I tried to do it in that interview, I’m like, dang, this isn’t easy.

Matt Siltala: [00:11:33] Well, it’s because we fall back on old habits as well.

Dave Rohrer: [00:11:37] Well, there’s that too? Yeah.

Matt Siltala: [00:11:38] Trouble with, but yeah, it’s interesting. So I’m in the article. Was there, you know, was there any one conclusion that you came to and how it impacts business?

Dave Rohrer: [00:11:51] You can, I think we just talked about a couple of them. If you’re an agency or some sort of service provider, you know, asking, just [00:12:00] asking straight questions, what’s wrong.

Like very specific, keep it short don’t lead, you know, and if you’re an internal person, you know, fighting the good fight for a project or something, again, keep it short, you know, cut up, cut off at the question, Mark. Um, And just ask questions and don’t try to answer it for them and just have them confirm it, actually have them answer it.

I like that. Yeah. And if you’re in customer service or sales, it’s like, why did you choose, you know, what’s wrong with our service or very short question. I’m sure. Salespeople, not that I’m a sales person probably do it well or better. Says the not sales person, but maybe salespeople just do it. Or maybe they’re better with their leading, with their questions.

Like, well, why would you choose that provider over us? [00:13:00] And they let them give reasons. And then as the people answer, they’re like, Well, it’s interesting because we actually do do that. We have that feature. Did you know about that? You know, or, or why, why, why are you canceling your service with us? And if you think about if you’ve ever tried to cancel well,

Matt Siltala: [00:13:19] yeah, that’s what I just was going to say.

I just thought of right now, like, those guys are masters at this.

Dave Rohrer: [00:13:24] They have nasty scripts that like, whatever your reason is, but they, they let you say the reason and then they have an answer to it. Yeah. We don’t like them sometimes. And sometimes it’s just, well, we’ll give you a free month. I’m like, no, dude cancel it.

Well, what if we gave you two free months? Like, no, that’s still not fixing my problem.

Matt Siltala: [00:13:46] She gave me a whole year. I might think about it and stay on the phone longer.

Dave Rohrer: [00:13:50] Just so I can call you in a year from now.

Matt Siltala: [00:13:52] Exactly. Yeah, I think, uh, what was it? We recently just [00:14:00] canceled the, or we just tried to. Well, it was a serious XM cause we have Spotify and everything everywhere.

And, and uh, you know, we tried to, we went to cancel and same thing. Like I just think about thinking about it now. It’s like how they use this method on us. Cause you know, we went through the whole process and ended up keeping them because, um, you know, they do streaming now and some other stuff and, and they made it where we could use it on more devices and.

And put us down to the bare minimum that we had used had been paying. But yeah, it’s, it’s interesting now, like I’m going to probably now that we’ve talked about this and I’ve read this article, it’s probably going to drive me nuts when I’m like having these conversations where I’m asking questions now, because I’m going to be like, constantly thinking about like how I’m asking the questions and, and, and all this, you know what I mean?

Dave Rohrer: [00:14:54] Yeah. I warned about that. I was going to try to change my questions and that we were going to talk [00:15:00] about it afterwards. And so I don’t think, I don’t know if you looked at the article or you really dug into it before, but you just knew that I was going to try to change how I ask some questions and you’re like, all right, we’ll talk about it.

And now of course, now that you’re looking and digging deeper, you’re like, Oh, yup. It’s tough. Like, as Jay was talking, I was like, Formulating I’m like, I want to ask this question and I want, I wanted to, I wanted to lead him to talk about Yelp or I wanted to have him talk about this one thing that I knew that would be a great thing.

And I’m like, or I could try to do what I was going to do and ask questions without leading him. I’m like, darn it. How do I do

Matt Siltala: [00:15:42] that? Well, and I think sometimes too, and I think we did this well too, and you’re pretty good at this, but. I think sometimes allowing people a pause to think, because like, sometimes we hate that awkward silence.

We like, especially cause we’re on a podcast that people are listening to us. We feel like we have to fill up [00:16:00] every single second of time with something. But sometimes like that pause and giving people that pause to think, and answer is like so important as well.

Dave Rohrer: [00:16:09] Well, and I think that’s when you want to go, unless you’re not sure.

Or, or if you are, or you could talk like you just got to shut up. And I, I think it is more difficult for us versus cause we can’t see each other. So I can’t see that they’re formulating an answer and they have three in their head and they’re trying to pick which one and how to describe it. Because if, if, if you’ve ever been a guest on our show, we don’t really prep questions.

We don’t give you a list of

Matt Siltala: [00:16:42] going back to one, to have a conversation.

Dave Rohrer: [00:16:44] Yeah. Um, we usually have a, a guiding, like here’s some articles or here’s what the general topic was going to be like, we’ll go. But in general, we don’t prepare a ton, [00:17:00] which then leaves it open to us, to meander wherever it takes us, but also makes it so that guests and just people in general have to think on the fly.

Yeah. And, um, Pausing and silence. And I know my wife’s talked about it before. Like some people just freak out if there’s silence on the radio or a podcast. Cause you must fill it all

Matt Siltala: [00:17:25] lust.

Dave Rohrer: [00:17:26] Lust. Yeah. Yeah. It’s as I think through all of the different times and ways, just asking so often, like asking like the kiddo.

What do you want to do? I’m going to go to the park. No, no. Shut up Dave, like I’m trying to lead him and give him options. Like let him answer, I then shoot them down and then give them options. But just like, even that simple question, like why do I have to give them options? Why can’t I just ask him a silly question?

[00:18:00] Matt Siltala: [00:18:00] Yeah.

Dave Rohrer: [00:18:01] But yeah. Well, if someone comes in, like how can I help you? Are you looking for it? No, just stop there. Let them talk to you. And I think for interviews, but for like job interviews like us, we’re on a podcast, but just, I think in general, keeping it to that question, Mark. That initial question because then yeah.

It’s like, Oh, well that’s a multipart question. Oh shoot. I didn’t ask a good question then I think is how I need to phrase in my head go. If someone goes, Oh well, that’s. That’s two good questions. And I’m like, Oh shoot. Yeah, I was asking a question, but I rambled so much and I gave him so many options. Not that now there’s like three parts to this question, which is a fail on me, I think.

Or whoever’s interviewing. Well,

Matt Siltala: [00:18:57] we can only improve. Right.

Dave Rohrer: [00:18:59] So, [00:19:00] yeah. Uh, basically, uh, if nothing else read the article will be interesting, but also just. If you ask a question, ask it and stop. Don’t give them options. Let people answer right, Matt. Right,

Matt Siltala: [00:19:14] right.

Dave Rohrer: [00:19:17] I won’t do

Matt Siltala: [00:19:17] that. Well, thanks. Uh, that was a good one.

I got it. It got me thinking and it’s going to get me thinking even more. Yeah.

Dave Rohrer: [00:19:26] Ripping apart. Every time you ask people questions and talk to people now and communicate.

Matt Siltala: [00:19:30] Exactly

Dave Rohrer: [00:19:32] by the way, like I said, we’re recording this on a Friday. And so now Matt is going to be suffering all weekend. My job here is done.

Matt Siltala: [00:19:40] The mic drop. Right. Well, thanks again for joining us on a, on another one of these episodes. You guys, uh, for Dave war with North side metrics, I met Sophia with them launch media and, uh, again, just last, last little reminder. We are on iTunes. We’re on Spotify [00:20:00] run, um, Google play where everywhere, uh, YouTube, if, if you want to find us on YouTube, a point being, go to any of those that are your favorite, give us a five star rating.

And, uh, hopefully we’ve, we can continue to provide this for you and, and give you some good information. So thanks all for joining us and I appreciate it. And we’ll catch you on the next one. Bye bye.

Dave Rohrer: [00:20:21] Thanks.

E170 – How to Ask Questions & How it Can Impact Your Business Hosts:



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