The Value of Asking Questions


“Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers.”
~ Voltaire

The Value of Asking QuestionsOne of the things that we cover quite a bit in our training is the value of asking questions. When we as advisors can ask our clients questions and get them to think about the answer, it will transform our ability to educate our clients and to motivate them to take action.

Silence is Golden

Kim says, “It’s been a tough thing for us to learn, but we have started saying less and less and less, asking more and more, and being quiet. That’s what is going to help you get progress with your clients.”

I'll hear her do this in the office. She asks her question, she’ll wait till they answer. It’s awkward silence, absolutely. She doesn’t care and the answer will come. And that's a really important thing.

When I used to work with clients, I'd be too quick to let them off the hook. It's actually helpful if you don’t. The answers need to come from them, because when they do, it allows them to really understand it. When clients can answer our questions as well as their own, they can really own their financial decisions.

If you think about it, the importance of asking questions is this: even if it's an “obvious” answer to you, if you preach to your client all the time and they go out into the world and they try to share what you told them and somebody challenges them, how are they going to defend “your” ideas? If they have not owned the ideas themselves, they're going to backtrack and say, “Yeah, that person doesn't know what they're talking about.”

On the other hand, if you asked them questions all the way through and the answers came from them, they can’t dismiss themselves. It’s part of them. So it’s truly important even though it may be something you’ve already laid out, it’s for them to repeat it for themselves and say it.

“Compared to What!?”

A question we have found to be one of the most valuable questions we can ask comes from Daniel Pink's book, To Sell is Human. It's the question, “Compared to what?”

Clients so often have this kneejerk reaction to what they’ve heard. “Oh, I heard that Life Insurance had a bad rate of return….”

When you ask, “Compared to what?” it puts them back on the spot. Rather than answering and defending your answer, let them find an answer when they say “Life insurance has a terrible rate of return.”

“Oh compared to what?”

Most of the time they don’t have any idea. They are just repeating what they’ve heard, and the question helps to bring that to their mind.


To learn more of the questions we like to ask and the stories we like to tell to go with the numbers…  come attend a three-day live Truth Training, and/or join Truth Concepts Academy to receive 24/7 access to recorded trainings.

What's your favorite question to ask? Feel free to share below!


3 Responses

  1. If you could change 3 things about your financial world today. What would those 3 things be?

  2. I grew up thinking banks were reliable institutions, no more! I would like to see the banks become more culpable.

    WE are a capitalist country. I am not ashamed of that, but rather proud of that. We should be teaching school children the precepts of the system. Most children graduate school without a clue to handling finances and it takes years of “practice” to get it, if they do at all.