Hi, Welcome back for another blog post from the gems I have learned from Michael Oliver!
Today, I will be talking a little bit about what Socratic Dialogue is and how is it related to success in Network Marketing.
Socratic Dialogue & Teaching
Socrates (469-399 BC) was a stone mason and carver in Athens, Greece. He is credited for refining the form of communication we know today as the Socratic Dialogue.
Socrates’ purpose in life was to discover universial truth. He felt that all statements, recommendations and explanations needed to be explored deeply. He questioned what he was told, describing himself as ‘a midwife bringing outher men’s thoughts to birth and stimulating them to think and question their own beliefs, not through instruction, but by allowing them to listen to their own answers when he asked easy-to-answer questions.’ (p. 58, ‘How to Sell Network Marketing without fear, anxiety or losing your friends!’)
Socratic Dialogue is used in many universities to teach. The role of the tutor is to facilitate and guide students to have respect for variuous viewpoints, a deeper and clearer consideration of the subject matter in question. Students and teachers both adhere to and respect the PROCESS of the dialogue. Teachers, when first started using Socratic Dialogue, often find it difficult to let go of the need to be in control as a teacher.
Socratic Dialogue & Network Markeing
New Network Marketing distributors in general are often passionate about their own products/services or business opportunity. What they normally do is to TELL others about the products/services or opportunity in a factual manner. The results? Often NOT good! Why? People have not gone through the Socratic Dialogue and the deeper meaning of the conversation has not been reached.
In the ‘classic’ selling situation, distributors feel that they have to talk and present. This rarely goes deep to WHY the potential partner may want our products/services or business opportunity. It is a must to discover the emotional needs through many discovery, transitioning and committing questions that Michael teaches. A typical example is when the potential partner (= prospect) says that “I need nore money!” Many distributors in their early years would have jumped to share with what they know can help and go straight into the telling mode.
Telling at such a superficial level rarely work! Others needed to be emotionally connected to HOW the products/services or opportunity can solve THEIR emotional issues!
Okay, back to the ‘need more money’ example above, questions that we can ask include:
1. What do you want more money for?
2. Why is that important for you?
3. How long have you been without money?
4. What have you done to have more money?
5. What does not having money prevent you from doing/having?
6. How do you feel about that?
7. How would having more money make your life different?
8. How would that make you feel if you could do that?
Drawing Out Emotions
When we are able to use the right questions at the right time, we can draw out others’ inner most emotional needs. It is then that people will be likely to make a decision to CHANGE and move to a different direction.
For example, by asking this question to someone who is on disability pension: ” Suppose you could put in some of your time that would craete an income that would be on-going whether you were disabled or not – how would that help you?”.
Another example: “How would you feel if you could work from home so that you do not have to leave your young children at day care centre?”.
Another one: “Mary, if you could do something that could replace your stressful job over the next 3 to 4 years, what would that mean to you?”.
The bottomline is: we have to draw out the deeper reason why people need more money, time, flexiblity, etc.
We draw out the information through asking the right questions. As Michael emphasizes, feelings are powerful. Listen and find out the feelings behind the questions. The idea is to let the true feelings surface… then, if our solution can help others solve their deeper emotional needs, they would be more likely to embrace what we have to offer.
Have you had any experience helping others in digging out their emotional needs?
You may or may not know that this is called Socratic Dialogue. Yet, if you have gone through a process of building rapport, discovery and drawing out the deeper emotional needs before presenting, this is what Michael Oliver’s Natural Selling is about.
I’d love to hear from you. Do leave a comment and share your experience 🙂
Your MLM Success Coach