3 Magic Questions for Every Business Owner to Master

3 Magic Questions for Every Business Owner to Master

As a business owner, you run into all sorts of situations in a day that require quick decisions. The Buck-Stops-Here-Right-Now kinds of situations. Asking questions is one way to buy some time while you are thinking of what to do next, but questions that simply stall a conversation are irritating for others involved. Not the kind of emotion you want to evoke.

On the other hand, if your questions are engaging the other party, he or she will have a sense of being heard, rather than being put off. And inherent in their answers is the information you need to make your “quick” decision.


Question # 1: What do you like most about it?

Question #2: What would you like to see improved?

Question #3: If you could have anything you wanted, what would that be?

This is the basic form of each question. With slight modification and a bit of practice, you will find them useful in any number of situations in business and in life. Here are a few examples:

At a Networking Event or on a Sales Call: Someone asks you about how you are different from their existing supplier. Instead of giving them a spiel, use these questions to let the prospect tell you exactly what they do and don’t like about their existing supplier and what they would ideally want so you can respond with a customized answer and ask if they are open to considering having a back-up supplier should they ever need one.

Making a Customer Service Call: The answers to these three questions help you develop new products or make enhancements to existing ones. Clients love giving advice so be sure to thank them for their ideas and get back to them and thank them again once you’ve decided how to incorporate their answers into your product and service offerings.

Up-Selling Existing Clients to a Higher Level of Service: After listening to the answer, you can share with them what you think might move closer to that ideal situation in the form of a new seminar, product or service to top up their existing contract.

When a Client, Spouse or Partner Complains About You or Your Service: Hear him or her out and be a good listener. Say how much you appreciate their frankness and promise to make right as much as possible. (Then do it!) Then, in a more light hearted way, you can approach Question # 1 in this way, “But there must be something that you like about our relationship. Would you mind sharing that with me so we can end on a high note?” Then, as and if appropriate, go ahead with questions 2 and 3.

Employee performance reviews: Ask the questions first as a way to elicit your employee’s view of themselves inside the organization. “What would you say is the biggest benefit to the company from your work here?” “What would be one improvement you might make in your performance?” You get the idea. Then you can feed back to the employee in a similar format, by indicating your own view of what you like about their contribution to the company, what you’d like to see improved, and if the employee were willing to engage in further self-improvement, what you see as an ideal opportunity for growth inside the company.

And there you have it. One simple process that works in so many different situations. That’s why I call it The 3 Magic Questions.


If you’d like a quick role play or brainstorming session with me before trying out these Three Magic Questions for the first time, feel free to call or text me at 780-908-0309 or email me at MaryLou@MagneticBusinessSolutions.com .

I’m always eager to help you succeed.


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