The Secret to Boosting your Close Rate
The road to closing a sale is fraught with winding roads and detours that can make you lose sight of your destination. Even with the best closing techniques and the ability to handle objections like a pro, you may hit a speed bump. If this sounds familiar, the problem is hiding in plain sight.
A haphazardly constructed discovery process will leave you battling with mismatched goals – like a square peg in a round hole. Your solution doesn’t line up with the prospect’s needs because you didn’t gather the information needed to create a successful sales pitch. What’s worse, it’s a lagging indicator meaning you won’t find out until they’ve made their decision, resulting in failure.
What is a Perfect Discovery Process?
The cornerstone of a successful sales strategy is your discovery process. This is your initial investigation where you gather essential information about your prospect’s aspirations and needs and you’ll learn about their decision-making process. Executed with precision and thoroughness, your sales structure is solid, and you’re set up to close the sale successfully.
At its core, discovery revolves around posing the right questions to reveal vital insights about your prospects. Taking a hint from The Challenger Sale by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson, steer the conversation to center on your prospect’s business needs rather than discussing the features and benefits of your solution. This means gaining a thorough understanding of their key challenges, their aspirations, and the repercussions of their current situation. By doing so, you gain knowledge to custom-fit your solution to their specific needs, enhancing the odds of a successful sale.
Tread with caution: Time is a precious commodity. Show respect by being prepared for the meeting so that you avoid a lengthy inquisition. Your objective is to learn the central problem quickly and efficiently, while being comprehensive in your questioning. This way you can qualify the prospect without making them feel like they’re being interrogated. You need enough information to develop and present a solution, or to decide that your services are not a fit for them.
Chet Holmes wrote a great book, The Ultimate Sales Machine, where he provides a practical approach to refining the discovery process. He underscores the importance of focusing on “buying” signals, such as the prospect’s current dissatisfaction, their vision for a solution, and their readiness to change. By zeroing in on these aspects, you can conduct a focused and efficient discovery interview.
Why is the Discovery Phase Crucial for Sales Success?
- Enhances Understanding. A thorough discovery process allows you to gain a comprehensive understanding of your prospect’s business situation. You’ll understand their needs, challenges, and goals better, which will enable you to present your solution in the most relevant and appealing manner.
- Builds Trust. When you demonstrate genuine interest in your prospect’s business and take the time to understand their pain points, you build trust. This trust can be a significant factor in moving the deal towards closure.
- Uses Time Efficiently. By ensuring your solution is relevant to your prospect’s needs, you minimize time wasted on pursuing unqualified leads or presenting mismatched solutions.
Developing a High-Quality Discovery Process
Now that you’re convinced of the importance that discovery plays in the sales process, how does it work? Here are our suggestions for ways to enhance your questioning, conduct a meaningful conversation and create a high-value outcome.
- Prepare your questions: Prior to your meeting, develop some questions aimed at discovering your prospect’s aspirations and pain points. You’ll also need to know their decision-making process.
- Practice active listening: Pay close attention to your prospect’s responses and react with empathy and understanding. You should not be talking about your solution, as tempting as that may be.
- Focus on value: Link every question back to the value that you can deliver, without telling them specifically about it yet. This can plant a seed in your prospects mind. It also ensures that you collect information that will be instrumental in tailoring your solution.
- Adopt a consultative approach: Encourage your prospect to open up about their needs and challenges by asking open-ended questions. Through their story, you’ll discover the true value that you can offer.
- Record and organize data: Keep track of your prospect’s information. Use a customer relationship management (CRM) system or tool to organize this data effectively, ensuring easy access and reference for future engagements.
- Analyze your findings: After the meeting, take time to analyze the data you collected. Look for patterns, inconsistencies that may provide further insight into your prospect’s situation. You may uncover a surprise or two!
Here’s to YOU!
Sales isn’t just about closing deals; it’s about building relationships. Establish a discovery process and refine it as you learn and grow. Embrace it, ask the right questions and, most importantly, listen to the answers.
Navigating these complexities involves executing maneuvers and steering your client toward the finish line. You can handle objections like a NASCAR driver and approach the checkered flag with confidence. Here’s to you closing more deals and doing it in a way that leaves both you and your prospect feeling understood, respected, and satisfied. And when that happens, you’re no longer just a salesperson, but a trusted advisor and partner in your client’s success.
Let’s take the sales success journey together! For further guidance and support in perfecting your discovery phase, feel free to reach out to us here.