You’ve planned out your budget, you have a vision in mind, and you’re looking at contractors. Congratulations, you’re in the exciting early stages of a home renovation. There are a lot of things that you’ll need to consider before you write that cheque for your new materials or installation services.
If you’re not sure where to start when trying to get the best deal on home renovation prices, we’ve got you covered. The process of buying new windows and doors can be taxing for anyone regardless of their knowledge base in the field.
How to Ask Good Questions
When you have good rapport with someone, you don’t tend to think too much about how you word your questions and phrase your conversation.
- Plan your questions. Before your meeting, outline your information goals and a sequence of related questions to help you follow the conversation and cue your notes.
- Know your purpose. Every question you ask should help you gather either facts or an opinion. Know which kind of information you need and frame your questions accordingly.
- Open conversation. Unlike simple “yes” or “no” questions, open-ended questions invite the respondent to talk — and enable you to gather much more information. “What do you like best about this company?” is likely to generate more valuable information than “Do you like this company?” Another tactic is to ask a question in the declarative format — “Tell me about that.” People who won’t answer questions sometimes respond better to a direct order.
- Speak the language. Relate questions to the listener’s frame of reference and use words and phrases that your listener understands. For example, avoid industry jargon when you’re negotiating with someone outside your industry. If someone doesn’t seem to understand what you’re asking, try rephrasing.
- Use safe, neutral wording. Asking leading questions, such as “How’d you like the terrific amenities at that conference center?” is unproductive. Because the question expresses a glowing opinion of the venue, the other person isn’t likely to say anything negative about it, even if he hated the place. He hasn’t altered his feelings; he just hasn’t expressed them, and you’ve lost an opportunity to influence him. A neutral question that elicits accurate information or an honest opinion — such as “How did you like it?” — is much more helpful.
Getting Good Answers
In the cases of a home renovation, you’ve got a lot on the line. You put a lot of trust, time, and money into an arrangement with your potential contractor. You want to be sure that the answers you get are true to the things you want to find out. How can you get better answers to your questions? One way to do so is to be aware of any bias that you might be projecting.
Avoid prompting, leading, and confirming questions. Try not to put words in the mouth of the person you’re talking to. Things like immediate head nodding, smiling, and vocal agreements can skew the answers you are getting. Try to keep your tone and voice neutral and reduce the number of unspoken cues that you’re giving off. You’ll get the best answers and ensure your renovation goes as smoothly as possible.