What's The First Thing You'd Do?

I once heard a new broom at a major car maker describe early chats with their inherited exec team.

Each was asked what they’d do to turn things around with a multimillion cash injection due to arrive.

Each went on to describe in detail how all of this money should be given to them alone and spent on their department.

Then the other day, the post-season, pre-world cup EPL managerial merry-go-round continued.

A new mid-table appointee at a club with aspirations above their station.

A pundit with 16 years playing time at said club hopped on to the airwaves to offer his opinion.

An interviewer tolerated his end-of-the-bar pub ramblings long enough.

Her final question;

“what’s the first thing he should do?”

Temporarily stumped, the player-turned-pundit paused. Then waffled about getting all the players together and singing off the same hymn sheet.

Which may have been a great answer.

But from his mouth, you suspect mere unconsidered guesswork.

Yet this type of question in the prospect furnace is a cracker.

Identifying people’s highest ranking action or intention is critical.

Whether they be user, adviser, recommender or order-signer.

Pretty much any variation on the above wording would work;

what’s the first thing you’re looking for?

what’s the one thing you must do about this?

what’s the top priority in fixing/to fix here?

How are you asking your prospects to uncover this?

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