Yesterday, I was in a meeting with George, our new regional sales manager, when I learned something important.
In the course of the presentation (we were recruiting a CIO for the beta program of our latest product), we answered a lot of detailed technical questions. George's suggestion was simple:
"Chris, after you answer the question, simply say, 'Now that's a great question. Why did you ask it?"
By asking "Why did you just ask that question?" (after actually answering it, of course--nothing is more annoying than someone who dodges answering a question by asking one in turn), you can understand what triggered their curiosity, and what larger issues might not be addressed by a simple, instinctive answer.