Whether it be in understanding and meeting customer needs, in evaluating potential candidates for a promotion, in negotiating terms of a contract or indeed in most business situations, a skill I have found to be of great importance is the art of probing.
Probing is your ability to elicit information through a mix of intelligent questioning and careful observation for reactions. The client says the requirement is urgent. Towards the end of a conversation I ask “So you need this by tomorrow?” . ” Yes, yes. That would be perfect.” said the client. ” Shall I bill you at a premium rate for moving this up the priority list?” I ask.” No, no,” says the client” It’s not that important. We can wait for a week or 10 days”. I have my answer. If I hadn’t asked the last question, I would never have known.