Are You Leading the Witness?

“If I could 10X your revenue, would you be interested?”

“Are you interested in making more sales?”

Are you leading the witness?

Leading the witness is when you ask questions that prompt people towards a desired answer to prove a point.

The problem?

When you lead, the witness prospects can smell your commission breath.

They know they’re being led into a yes trap. If they say “yes,” they’re going to get pitched.

Whenever prospects feel they’re being led to your desired answer, they put off their guards. So do you. So does everyone.

It’s a defense mechanism to protect themselves from self-serving salespeople. It’s called self-preservation.

Same intent.

Same behavior.

Same results.

The best way to make sure your curiosity is authentic is to let go of having assumptions.

Sure, you have a theory about a problem your prospect might have; however, you don’t actually know what is going on.

When you let go of assumption, prospects are more likely to open up because they don’t feel “sold”.

By way of example, here’s what asking a neutral question sounds like on a cold call for Gravy:

“Hey, Josh. We’ve never spoken. Complete stranger here. But I was on your website and was hoping I could ask you a quick question.”

Poke the Bear (Neutral question)
“Thanks, I’m Lisa with Gravy. We work with membership communities. If you don’t mind me asking, how are you currently recovering failed payments? Are you using internal resources or an outsourced recovery team?”

Conversation started.

Your intent is to be curious about how prospects are currently getting the job done without having an agenda.

When you let go of having assumptions, prospects lower their guard because they don’t feel like you have an ulterior motive.

Different intent.

Different behavior.

Different results.

Ditch the pitch.

Poke the bear.