Ask Powerful Questions

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Ask Powerful Questions When Negotiating

Asking powerful, clarifying questions helps avoid unwanted conversations. I will not agree to a phone call with someone who will not tell me what they want to talk to me about. I’ve had too many of those where people then pitch you on something.

I had one friend who I hadn’t seen for a long time and was in town ask to meet for lunch to “catch up.” Then it turned into another friend was coming and that friend turned out to be the upline to her MLM business. They hit me with the pitch after we ordered the food. I was so mad at the bait and switch that I could barely contain myself.

Another friend gave me the “I need to talk to you about something” which also turned out to be a pitch. When someone refuses to tell me the subject they want to talk to me about, I want nothing to do with the conversation.

Recent conversation:

Them – (they were commenting about my FB post in the message)
Hey Eldonna, Love you soup recipe. I have a question, when can we talk?

Me – Soup turned out great. All fresh ingredients and made enough for a few servings. What do you have a question about?

Them – Easier to talk on phone. Tomorrow? Number?

Me – What is the subject? Just want to know what you want to talk about.

Them (many hours later) – Never mind.

Me – OK

I can’t say what this was about and maybe I should have asked a straighter question because I suspected it was a sales call about sponsoring an upcoming event they were having but didn’t want to assume that so asked what the subject was.

Refusing to give what they want to talk about makes it a conversation I don’t want to have.

Eldonna Lewis Fernandez
Eldonna Lewis Fernandez
Veteran negotiation and contracts expert Eldonna Lewis-Fernandez, author of “Think Like a Negotiator,” has over 30 years of experience crafting killer deals both stateside and internationally, many in excess of $100 million. She’s currently the CEO of Dynamic Vision International — a specialized consulting and training firm that helps individuals hone negotiation skills — as well as a nationally regarded keynote speaker, session leader and panelist on the Art of Negotiation. Eldonna may be reached online at

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