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Are You Asking These Sales Discovery Questions?

by | 2 minute read

Has your close rate been lower than you'd like lately? It’s easy to blame the problem on the poor quality of customers who are walking through your front door. The truth is, a low close rate is usually closely linked to poor discovery on your part. That’s the expert opinion of C. Lee Smith, president and CEO of SalesFuel. Here’s what you need to do next.

If you’re selling a pricey consumer product like a riding lawn mower, it’s worth your time to qualify the folks, the leads, who visit your store. You have a limited amount of selling time each day. You can’t afford to give every person who comes in a test drive of the mower. To optimize your profitability, plan should spend your time with leads who are most likely to turn into prospects.

You can find the best prospects by asking a series of discovery questions. The following examples provided by Rob Steffens on bluleadz​.com work very well.

The Problem to be Solved

Start out by asking the customer what problem they are trying to solve. Maybe they’ve just moved to a new home and have never before had to mow a lawn. This customer might not even be sure if a riding or push mower is the best option.

You should also ask why the customer has come to explore the range of mowing products at this time. Has their existing mower broken down? Are they fed up with sky-high bills from the landscaper? Do they want their kids to take on a few chores, starting with mowing the lawn?

Their answers to your question give you information on how to proceed. The answers also allow you to build rapport with the customer, especially if you can commiserate about trying to get your kids to do more around the house too.

Purchase History and Profile

Once you have an idea of what the prospect is trying to accomplish, take the next step. The actual purchase of a riding mower or a similar piece of expensive equipment may require a decision-making time frame that lasts several days. The concept of financing the purchase might not be familiar to the prospect. During the course of your conversation, find out if the prospect has made such a purchase before? If they have, your job could be a lot easier. If not, be prepared to educate them on the details they should be thinking about.

Above all, let the prospect know you are there to help. When you ask, “how can I make this easier for you,” the question serves two purposes. You’re making it clear that you’re on their side. And, you’re also digging deeper into discovery to learn other obstacles in their path to purchase.

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.