How effective are you at controlling the content and flow of important business discussions? How regularly do you meet with associates, other professionals and affluent individuals to address significant issues? Are you able to leave the meeting having made real progress towards your goals? If you’re like most professionals, many meetings are completely or moderately unproductive.

There are a number of tactics for controlling business conversations. However, after careful analysis of the way self-made millionaires conduct business, it’s clear that being a skilled inquisitor is probably the most powerful way to control business conversations—especially with the wealthy.

Adroit questioning works for two reasons. First, it forces the other parties to validate their statements and comments, while giving you the appearance of being in charge. Skillful questioning also moves the process along.

Second, adroit questioning enables you to tactfully pivot and switch the focus of the conversation. This permits you to make sure the matters relevant to you and what you need to achieve in the meeting are not somehow minimized or even lost. Consequently, you can keep the focus of the conversation on your agenda.

Self-made millionaires are usually proficient at this approach. The way to become facile with using questions to control business conversations is to intensely practice transforming declarative statements into questions.

The tendency for most people is to spout their viewpoints. This is usually not very effective. The use of questions is a much more powerful approach. Keep in mind that any declaration can be converted into a query with the capacity to convey the same viewpoints, while gaining the psychological high ground.

This very simple and very powerful approach is not only effective in helping to control business discussions; it proves to be applicable and extremely effectual in many business and personal situations. It’s a mutually beneficial, warm and friendly way to align people with your objectives. Its an approach professionals should master if they want to be successful with the affluent and centers of influence.