What’s your agenda?

In our last blog post, on asking curious questions as a way to figure out what your potential client wants, we said, “Obviously, there are many different types of questions one can ask.  What type of questions are best in this conversation?  Enrollment questions are curious questions.  You may think all questions are curious questions.  They aren’t.  Often (especially in trying to sell something) we are not curious at all because we have an agenda – to sell – and we only ask questions to get to the result we are after.”

In any situation where you are asking questions, it is useful to ask yourself, “what is my agenda?”  This means, what is your aim, or the outcome you are seeking?

Often our agenda is to get our own way – make the sale, convince the secretary to arrive on time, get our spouse to agree to go out to dinner.  The agenda that will really serve you is to discover what is most important to the other person and help them get what they want.  This likely will include what you want – for example, that they buy your service or product.  The best way to get what you want is to have your agenda be a subset of their agenda.  Picture a large circle – this is the other person’s agenda.  Picture your agenda as smaller circle inside the larger circle.  Your agenda is important, but it must be a part of their agenda.  The only way you will find out if it is will be to ask a lot of very curious questions and find out clearly what their agenda is.

Post your examples here.

About the Author

Picture of Cami McLaren

Cami McLaren

is the owner of McLaren Coaching. She has been coaching professionals and leaders since early 2008. She runs Transformative Coaching Essentials, a coach training program that produces first rate Professional Coaches and "Coach-Style Leaders." She coaches individually and works with organizations to improve communication, time management, productivity and ultimately bring greater results.

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