Did you know that simply by asking questions a prospect or client can be encouraged to do most of the talking?
What a relief--let THEM do some of the talking for a change!
More to the point, your astute, non-threatening questions will shift the focus to them--where it belongs--and flatter them by showing your interest.
And even more important than that, questions help people resolve their objections. Many people find that thinking out loud is the best way to clarify how they feel about unresolved issues. In so doing it also helps you gather more information (which leads to more questions).
This beneficial loop can go on for quite a while, but in the end the process will reveal the other person's true motives, hidden agendas or defense mechanisms without any pressure on your part. You can watch in amazement as they solve their own objections and credit you for helping them.
As a result, your stature in their eyes will be greater, they will like you more, and you will have avoided all kinds of problems from slips of the tongue and other blather you might accidentally utter.
Here are a couple of my favorite questions. "What kinds of things would you need to hear from me today to make you comfortable working with me?" or "What were you hoping that I could do?"
They will tell you how they want to be sold!