Effective Discovery – Part 2 – Relationship First


A requirement for asking a prospective customer to hold a Discovery session is that first, you have some level of relationship with them. 


On an initial call with a mid-level manager at a prospective customer, Jason, an inexperienced salesperson, starts firing off  discovery-type questions right up front, such as: 


“What major pains do you currently have?”


The customer replies: “Actually, we are operating at a high level right now”.


Then the Jason follows up with: “What do you see as the biggest threat to your business?”


The customer replies: “Nothing major. We are in very good shape right now”.


Then Jason asks this doozy: “What keeps you awake at night?”


The customer replies: “Actually, I sleep pretty well.”


Conversation over. What happened here?


Well, if you don’t have at least a basic level of a business relationship, the prospective customer will not open up… I mean, why should they air their grievances to a relative stranger?


You can’t just start asking “painful” questions. You have to earn the right to ask questions that delve into your customer’s business… They need to know that you care about helping them, that you are capable of helping, and that they can trust you, before they air their deep, dark secrets.


Also, there are specific questions to ask based on the level of the person you are meeting with, depending whether they are staff level (such as technical staff), mid-level management, or executive level management. 


To gain access for a Discovery meeting, do some research to learn three key areas where you could help them improve their results. Then state that your objective for the Discovery is to learn how you can deliver value, and explore three key areas, not just showcase your solution. 


I’m DJ Sebastian, for more info on what it takes to become an Elite Seller, visit my website at thetechseller.com