How Curious Reps Succeed During Discovery

BY Kathy Crosett
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Is the discovery process a stumbling point for you? Some sales reps consider this step in the sales funnel to be a waste of time. They’re under pressure to close deals as quickly as they can. It only seems natural to hurry along the prospects who want to tell you their tales of woe. 

If you find yourself tapping your toe or finishing a prospect’s sentence, stop right now. It’s time to change your mindset about discovery. Writing for SalesForce, Shari Levitin reminds us that we can get better at discovery by tapping into our curiosity.

Before You Make Contact

Every business has a backstory. Maybe the founders made their first million in their first month of operations, or maybe they still haven’t achieved revenues of one million. This information is important to know, especially if you’re meeting with a founder. Regardless of who you’re meeting with, take the time to check out their background. Have they worked for the company for a while? Does it look like they’ve worked their way into a key management role? That kind of track record will tell you they care about making the right investments for the company.

The Right Questions

You may have been trained to ask questions that will allow you to eventually segue into making a pitch for your product. Those questions are important. But, the more important questions should show your true curiosity about your prospect’s toughest pain point. Are they spending too much time on quality control? Have shipping costs and free returns decimated their profit margin? Being curious enough to ask these questions will get you the information you need to make the right kind of pitch.

The Heart of the Matter

Keeping digging on the topic that seems most difficult for the prospect. The biggest worry of all may be that your prospect is considering laying off employees because of big changes in their business? Now you’ve reached the heart of their concerns. Business owners want to succeed, not fail. They’re constantly trying to see into the future to know how to position themselves. 

If you're curious enough in the discovery process, you'll score enough information to lead your prospect to the next step in the sales process.