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Avoid Yes/No Questions

What is your opinion of the following suggestion?

Avoid Yes/No Questions
As a rule of thumb or generalization (as is often the case with these types of statements) I believe it is too general to be helpful and without proper context and/or shared meaning has the potential to yield more harm than good.

Another way to look at this is absolute (without restriction or qualification) statements such as "Avoid Yes/No Questions" have value in SOME situations or circumstances but not ALL.

It has been said that communication is, "... a process by which meaning is assigned and conveyed in an attempt to create shared understanding" and I do not disagree. - by Jeff Blackwell
The often parroted platitude says that we should avoid asking questions which could be answered with a no.

I see no value whatsoever in that suggestion. - by Gary A Boye
As I see it, this discussion is essentially about communication and I have used absolute (without restriction or qualification) statements such as "Avoid Yes/No Questions" without proper context and/or shared meaning (because they are common in sales articles, blogs, discussions, etc.) as a starting point.

If communication is "... a process by which meaning is assigned and conveyed in an attempt to create shared understanding" then assuming context and/or meaning runs the risk of misunderstanding and any unforeseen ramifications (physical, emotional, financial, etc.) resulting from such misunderstanding.

Misunderstandings are commonplace in forum discussions like this for many reasons to include communication skills (mostly) and the communication medium (inherent limitations). As an example, here is a thread from today where there seemed to be some confusion caused by a lack of shared meaning: http://www.salespractice.com/forums/t-8761.html

Previously I had written about misunderstandings caused by a lack of context. That post ( http://www.salespractice.com/forums/t-2498.html ) referenced a lengthy (+180 replies) discussion whose participants included sales experts, sales trainers, sales coaches and sales managers. At the end of the discussion I couldn't help but wonder (given the responses) if many of the participant were merely paying lip service to effective communication skills or just had poor communication skills.

Given the degree to which people appear to be having difficulty communicating I see value in this topic. ;) - by Jeff Blackwell
Given the degree to which people appear to be having difficulty communicating I see value in this topic. ;)
As do three of the more well known of our fellow sales educators, Jeff. Certainly Jacques Werth, The late David Sandler, and Jim Camp saw enough value in the topic to redirect their followers into the real world of selling. There is much clutter in popularly accepted parrot platitudes. "Never ask a yes or no question" is among such clutter. - by Gary A Boye
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