Key to understanding is the ability to ask appropriate questions and listen for the answers
Sharon Drew Morgen wrote about her idea of Facilitative questions. She writes : “Decades ago I had an idea that questions could be vehicles to facilitate change in addition to eliciting answers. ……Here’s the big idea: using questions directed to help Others efficiently recognize their own route to Excellence, and change as appropriate vs. using questions to seek answers that benefit the Asker. This shift in focus alone creates an automatic trust.”
Gong.io has been analyzing sales calls, millions of minutes of it across hundreds of customers and industry segments. Couple of weeks back they came out with 11 discovery call tips (for pros, mind you). Chris Orlob, Senior Director Marketing shared the analysis.
There is an interesting takeaway if you read the recommendations in this report in conjunction with Sharon’s idea piece.
- Discovery Is A Process, Not An Event – “The top performers spread their questions evenly across the discovery call” not bunch them at the beginning as if checking the box.
- Match Your Questions To The Buyer’s Journey – if the stages are : Latent pain, Active pain, Solution Development, Evaluation, Decision – and the customer is in the Solution development stage, don’t start asking pain discovery questions like “ what is your biggest strategic priority this year?’
- Re-Validate Everything You Uncover – Start every sales meeting with this question : “What’s changed since the last time we talked?”
- Phrase Your Questions To Get Long Answers – learn to ask open ended questions like journalists. Ask “who, what, when, where, why, or how question.”
- Say These Three “Magic” Words – “Repeat the main 1-3 words your customer used in their response.”
- Use “Commercial-Grade” Listening – When you notice your buyer getting emotional, label that emotion.
- Ask Questions Based On What Your Buyer Said – Base your next question on what your buyer just told you.
- Ask Questions Only An Expert Could Ask – “Can you walk me through your sales process, from when you first generate a new lead, through to a closed deal?” as against ““What’s your sales process?”
- Ask The “Sweet Spot” Number Of Questions – That number is between 11 and 14. If selling to C Suite – optimum seems to be around 4 questions.
- Maintain A Healthy Talk-To-Listen Ratio – 46% is the threshold.
- Turn On Your Webcam – Closed deals involve using webcams 41% more often than lost deals:
For more details and some interesting infographics read the article. And I will disagree with the disclaimer. Even if you are starting in sales, you can learn and implement most of these ideas. Go for it. Your ability to understand your customer could be the key to retaining your job over the next decade.
Link to Sharons article:
Questioning Questions http://sharondrewmorgen.com/questioning-questions/
Link to the analysis :
The 11 Best Discovery Call Tips For Sales You’ll Read This Year https://bit.ly/2Unymxe