Mastering the Discovery Call - Part 1
Mastering the Discovery Call is one of the most important steps of any sales process, because the information a sales rep collects during this step will help them successfully connect the buyers dominant buying motives to the product.
The Discovery Call is commonly viewed as a series of questions a sales rep can use to uncover the dominant buying motives of a buyer, however many companies are missing two pieces of the process that can make this step more successful.
A future post will be looking at the questioning strategy and this post will be focused on the pieces sales reps typically overlook - the Discovery Affirmation and Discovery Close.
If your sales process includes the Discovery Call as part of a Product Demo then you can include these two steps, before you get into the demo.
The Discovery Call is typically the first time a sales rep will get to spend quality time with the buyer during the sales process after initially setting it up through an email or introductory call.
This means the sales rep has a small window to maximize their time and achieve the following goals with the buyer:
Prove they’re trustworthy, reliable, and competent to the buyer.
Demonstrate integrity and credibility to the buyer.
Prove they’re empathetic to the buyer’s situation, pain, needs, desires and goals.
Uncover the dominant buying motive that they can connect to their product.
Determine who is part of the buying group making the decision.
Determine timelines, budget and level of urgency.
Uncover early objections or roadblocks.
Set expectations and agree to next steps.
A Discovery Affirmation is a statement of intent that helps address the stress, fear and/or anxiety the buyer might be feeling as result of speaking to a new person or evaluating the change involved with trying a new product/service.
As a result, crafting a Discovery Affirmation statement for a sales rep to use before launching into Discovery Questions will help them:
Affirm to the buyer that their intentions are morally sound and that the buyer’s time will be respected.
Prime the buyer to start thinking about their goals and challenges.
Gain approval to ask the buyer Discovery Questions and reduce the uncertainty about opening up to the sales rep. Without it, some buyers may feel like they’re being interrogated and hide their emotions
Outline the purpose of the call so the buyer knows what to expect.
Make progress on Goals 1-3 listed above.
Here is a sample template of what I use to write Discovery Affirmations for my clients, which sales reps can use after they’ve completed the rapport building step:
“I really appreciate you taking the time to meet with me today - I’m really excited to learn more about you, your role and where we can potentially help you INSERT BUYER PERSONA GOALS.
To recap our last email/call... we help INSERT CLIENTS with some of their most pressing challenges like INSERT BUYER PERSONA CHALLENGES…
We’ve been able to generate INSERT RESULTS for of our clients and the purpose of this call is to ask you a few questions so I can get a better understanding of your INSERT BUYER FUNCTION... that way we can maximize our time together and start to determine what types of results you can expect, if you decide to start working with us in the future.
I understand we’ve scheduled X TIME together, which means I’ll be keeping an eye on my watch so that I’m respectful of your time, but please feel free to ask me any pressing questions that might arise during our conversation.
Does that make sense and work for you?”
If you don’t have something like this in your sales process, this is a small change that can yield a big impact. A sales rep who starts the conversation with a powerful Discovery Affirmation statement like this, immediately increases their chances of the buyer opening up during their Discovery Questions. You want the buyer thinking:
“This person gets me and is credible - I should take this call seriously.”
This script takes 45 - 90 seconds to execute and quickly demonstrates to the buyer that the sales rep is credible, empathetic, competent and reliable.
When the sales rep reaches the Discovery Close they have just finished asking the buyer upwards of 10 questions and is now rapidly trying to process, digest and figure out how all of this information relates to their product or service, while maintaining a fluid conversation with the buyer.
Sounds complicated right?
Add in a closing time window with the buyer, some nerves and any other office distractions that are present and you have a recipe for sales rep mistakes and bad assumptions.
A Discovery Close is a simple process any sales rep can follow by repeating back all of the information they just collected for the buyer to confirm. Including this step forces the sales rep to:
Take a breathe and buy more time to process the information. Hearing it out loud also helps the brain digest the information faster.
Confirm they haven’t skipped any of their Discovery Questions.
Confirms the primary buying motives with the buyer and eliminates any incorrect assumptions that may have been made.
Allow the buyer to also digest all of the information that was exchanged and confirm its accuracy.
Uncovers any early buyer objections.
Prove to the buyer that they have listened and that they are trustworthy, reliable, competent and empathetic to their situation.
After repeating back the the buyer’s information, a sales rep can use statements like “Does that sound about right?” “Did I miss anything?” or “Is there anything you wanted to add?” as an easy way to get confirmation and feedback from the buyer that they are aligned.
The point of the Discovery Close is not to repeat all of the information verbatim, but to simply summarize in enough detail that both parties agree and move to next steps in the sales process on the same page.
Including a Discovery Affirmation and Discovery Close as part of of your Discovery Call sales process should have an immediate impact and give your sales reps more control over the conversations going forward.
As always - if you need help with your Discovery Calls or any part of the sales process you can schedule a 1 hour free consultation with Sales Knowledge Institute here and we can create something together.
Mastering the Discovery Call Part 2 will be released sometime next week and feel free to send me an email directly at firstname.lastname@example.org so you don’t miss how to execute effective Discovery Questions.