Star Trek Computer Captain's Log

The Star Trek Computer is the latest novelty on view at Google’s annual conference this May.

You’ll have undoubtedly wondered why or how, each time you start to tap a query into their search box, a list of options fills the drop-down as you type. Hoping to nail what you were going to finish asking.

As an article I read in London’s Times satirised, imagine you could do this in real life on a first date.

Googlers also seem keen to be develop this capability.

The enhancements unveiled in San Francisco mean that not only will Google guess your query before you’ve typed it in, it will try to predict the question you’re going to ask next before you’ve even thought of it.

How so?

Because it processes more than a billion searches every day, 85 per cent of which have been googled before.

85% of searches have already been asked?

Isn’t that similar in the sales arena?

Only roughly one in six prospect posers you’ll hear for the first time?

And what about the high probability of knowing what follow-up question will likely occur?

You know, it could well be case.

I all-too-often lament the lack of collective knowledge both captured and built on inside salesteams. Whether big or small, they rely too heavily on snatched ten-minute roundtable unstructured chitchat, or technology which cannot hope to have adequate data input, let alone stark distinguishing wisdom imparted.

Where’s your Star Trek computer? Who maintains the roll of common questions? How does the optimum listing of ideal follow-up questions run?

Imagine the empathy generated if you could guide prospects with insight such as “people that asked that also ponder…” And when these naturally show you in bright light, your stock must surely outshine others.

I also take a lead from the Times’ piece, namely “A&Q”.

We all sit through Q&A sessions. So why not have an Answer and Question half-hour set at your next internal meeting?

The aim is simple. Generate the supplementary questions that’ll allow your prospect to realise you are truly out to help them that follow-on from answers you give to standard queries.

You don’t have to brand such activity with Google or Star Trek colours, but the more techie your team, you never know, it might well soften their stance to collective sharing of intel and really let you “boldy go” to new frontiers.

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