“Think differently, do better, and have better results.” – Jeff Bajorek in today’s Tip 756
What a top performer’s discovery sessions look like?
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Scott Ingram: You’re listening to the Daily Sales Tips podcast and I’m your host, Scott Ingram. It’s Saturday, so here’s Jeff Bajorek:
Jeff Bajorek: As a member of a community of top performers, like you are, you probably know that discovery’s a big deal. You probably know that the biggest difference between a superstar salesperson and a mediocre one is the way they approach discovery. And if you didn’t know that until now, while I’m happy that I just told you. So a couple of weeks ago, I went through some misconceptions about discovery. This idea that discovery is something you need to balance against prospecting, rather than thinking about it as a key component of prospecting. Recognize what you’re trying to do. And it is part of the qualification and prospecting process. So let’s get that out of the way. And then last week I talked about six things that great discovery creates. It creates a connection. It creates an understanding. It creates tension, it creates context, it demonstrates expertise, and it creates a level of comfort for your prospect to move forward with you.
But until right now, I haven’t told you what I think great discovery looks like. So I’m going to get into that. I think there are three levels to great discovery questions, and I think each level builds on the other one. And this is something that most people don’t really appreciate. This is an approach that most people don’t use because most salespeople are trying to control a discovery process. They’re trying to make sure that they have an idea of where it’s going to end up. And I think that is a mistake. You don’t start a relationship by knowing where it’s going to end. You have some ideas of where you want it to go, but the more you try to control it, the more it gets away from you, doesn’t it?
So I want to go through these levels of questioning and I want you to recognize the amount of control that is given up at every additional level.
Level one. Ask questions that your prospect, that doesn’t know the answer to. Why would I ask that, this is what you want them to start thinking differently. You want them to start considering their own situation a little bit differently than before you asked. These are questions that make your prospect stop, consider new information. Think about it a little bit and hopefully answer in terms of what you’ve got to offer, what they think that you have to offer. These questions are very important to pay attention to. They’re going to give you clues. They’re going to give you a lot of ways to follow up and dig a little bit deeper. If you’re brave enough.
Now that’s level two. Level two is asking questions that you don’t know the answer to. Based on the answers they gave you to level one. Now your average sales person is going to go right back to their list after they get those answers. And they’re going to answer the next year. They’re going to ask the next question on the list. And they’re just going to move right on down the line, like an interrogation rather than an interview, but you can’t do that.
Look, the, the prospect giving you gold right there, and you’re choosing to leave it alone, no. Go in and ask more clarifying questions, get more information. When you do this, knowing that 99% of other salespeople aren’t doing this, you’re establishing yourself as different. You’re differentiating yourself, not just by what you sell, but by how you sell in your prospect knows that this is not their average discovery session.
That’s a really good thing, but you’re giving up a little bit of control here. It’s really hard to steer this conversation when you want to dig deeper, but that’s okay. I’m going to give you permission right now to not predetermine the outcome of your discovery sessions. And I’m going to tell you right now with years of experience, that when you don’t predetermine those outcomes, the outcomes actually get better. I’m going to ask you to trust me. Then I’m going to ask you to do it. Then I’m going to ask you to tell me how it goes for you because it works.
Now what’s level three? Well, level three are the questions that neither of, you know, the answers to I’ve totally gone off the reservation, right? Like what kind of discovery session has those kinds of questions in it? The kind of discovery session that leads to a long-term productive, fulfilling relationship. I think of these questions as you figuratively wrapping your arm around the shoulder of your prospect, even though we can’t do that right now and looking off into the future in terms of, wow, what could happen if we did this? What do these new outcomes? What do these new solutions make possible in the future?
These are longstanding tested Bulletproof relationships. These are the kinds of customers that you can make a career on. And look, is everyone going to be that, no. Are you going to get an opportunity to go to level three with every prospect? Probably not, but if you’re not willing to go there, you’ll won’t get there. You don’t tend to get what you don’t ask for. Right?
So look, what I want you to do is I want you to think completely differently about the way you approach discovery, because quite frankly, the way everybody else does discovery, probably not worth doing, which is why a lot of people don’t do it, right. Think differently, do better, and have better results. And then tell me what you think.
Scott Ingram: For more from Jeff and about Jeff, just click over to DailySales.Tips/756
And then, come on back tomorrow for another great sales tip. Thanks for listening!