Dig a Little Deeper During Your Discovery Calls

BY Rachel Cagle
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Discovery calls are the most important part of the sales process. Not only is it the moment you dig a little deeper to learn whether or not a prospect has a need for your product or service that they’re interested in filling, it’s also your prospect’s first impression of you. And you know what they say about the importance of first impressions. Dan Tyre, writing for HubSpot, says that a discovery call, “sets the tone for the entire relationship, both pre- and post-​sale. Either you’ll be able to establish an authoritative relationship or you’ll be stuck playing catch up.”

Here are a few of the best sales discovery questions for phone sales that you should be asking during your discovery calls in order to get the information you need while making a good first impression.

Dig a Little Deeper Using These Best Sales Discovery Questions for Phone Sales

Tell me about your goals/​problems.”

Okay, this isn’t a question, but it gets the same results as one. By including this question in your sales discovery questions for phone sales, you’re showing that you’re not a salesperson who just throws sales proposals at prospects based solely on research you’ve conducted. Research is a great start, but the best way to dig a little deeper to discover your prospect’s wants and needs is to ask them directly. That way, you’ll know for sure if your product or service is a good fit for this person (and you’ll get a better idea of how best to pitch your product to this particular prospect).

When do you need to achieve these goals/​solve these problems by?”

This question lets the prospect determine a sense of haste on their own. Too often during discovery calls, it’s the salesperson who is trying to urge the prospect to speed up the sales process. That obviously doesn’t sit well with the prospect and can cost you the sale. If you let them determine their own timeline, they’ll realize that there is either time to relax or a sense of urgency will set in. Then all you have to do is provide a solution.

Why haven’t you addressed this before?”

By including this question on your best sales discovery questions for phone sales list, you can dig a little deeper to determine possible objections the prospect may have to your product or service. For example, if it was an issue of cost, prepare to handle that in the negotiation stage. Or it could be as simple as the prospect is new to this job and the previous employee had never thought very far into this issue. Either way, if you’re prepared for future objections, you’ll know exactly how to handle them when the time comes.

Can you think of any roadblocks to implementing this plan?”

This is the necessary second part to the previous possible objections question. During your discovery calls, you likely give at least a brief rundown of your product or service and how you feel it could be of use to each prospect. After you give your elevator pitch, ask this question dig a little deeper to know how to prepare for future calls (or if there will be any future interactions for this particular product or service). The only thing better than identifying potential objections (well, aside from their being none at all) is knowing the specific objections the prospect has regarding your product or service.

Who else will be involved in choosing a vendor?”

Want to make sure you’re talking to the decision-​maker? Ask this question during your discovery calls. The answer will reassure you that you’ve been talking to the proper person, or it will reveal exactly who you should be speaking to going forward. Even if you haven’t been speaking to the decision-​maker, this hasn’t been a waste of time. If you built rapport with the employee you’re currently talking to, they could personally recommend you or at least be the one to introduce you to the decision-​maker, giving you a foot in the door that your competition may not have.

How can I help make this easy?”

Again, this is among the best sales discovery questions because it shows that you’re not a pushy salesperson. By establishing during your discovery calls that you’re here to help the prospect through the entirety of the process, you’re laying good groundwork for future interactions. The prospect will know they can come to you with concerns and to establish a plan benefiting the both of you instead of receiving badgering emails and calls pressing the close of a sale that the prospect has to figure out the finer details of by themselves. Good and successful salespeople know that supporting their clients is the best way to create loyal clients who will be eager to work with you.

If you implement this solution, how do you hope things will be different one year from now?”

By asking this question, you’ll know for sure what exactly the prospect is expecting from you. That way, you can determine whether or not your product or service can meet every one of your prospect’s expectations. If it can’t, be honest with them. Perhaps you have another product or service that you can add on that will finish the job. Whether or not the prospect ends up choosing to do business with you this time around, honesty is the best way to make sure they’ll be willing to meet with you again in the future.