Here are some core concepts to execute a discovery call so as to maximize closing ratios.
For many years all I did was help companies SELL THE MEETING and schedule qualified discovery calls and first sales appointments. Eventually companies asked for help in choreographing (my words) the first meeting/discovery call to get more leads deeper into the pipeline and ultimately to a close.
The two most common complaints were 1) that “perfect prospects” were going nowhere after “great meetings” and 2) that prospects were vaporizing in the middle of the pipeline.
When you are crafting an appointment setting script you have a 3-5 minute interaction to plan for.
With a discovery call, you need to prepare for a 15-60 minute interaction with many variables flying and the clock ticking.
Here are 12, of what I believe to be the keys, to conducting a discovery call so that you solidify the next step on the road to a close.
- The 2% difference gets us the close.
You must extract from the buyer motivations sufficient to overcome the tendency to do nothing. When a perfect prospect decides, will you be 2% better than the competition or doing nothing.
- The specifics that will earn us the close are extracted upfront.
You must extract the details from potential buyers that will provide that 2% difference.
You must have a sense of what to extract and whether it will be enough at decision time.
- Proposals should be confirmations, not explorations.
Proposals are not fishing expeditions. They should confirm key points already discussed, not explore whether something is acceptable.
- Perfect prospects are ranking you against competitors and the status quo.
Are you contrasting your solution results so that perfect prospects can clearly weigh them against other options? If they can’t clearly see the difference, bye bye close.
- Are you prepared to showcase your strengths.
What specifics, stories, and examples are you going to communicate and when? You have limited time to get it done.
- How will you minimize weaknesses.
“Head off at the pass” the most common causes of doubt about moving forward. Remember, any lingering doubt on issues equates to a no close. Deal with them.
- Top closers prepare questions; the rest prepare presentations.
If you believe that obtaining a new account is determined by slight differences brought to the surface, those differences are uncovered with a purposeful plan. We are not talking about the lay-ups here, those that are a perfect fit for us, immediately see our value and cannot wait to sign. Nor are we talking about the tire-kickers and price shoppers. Nothing we say will make a difference and we do not want them. We need to sway those in the middle, that are dissatisfied on some level with their current situation and are trying to decide whether to go with someone else or stick with the devil they know. Focus on the middle group.
- The clock is ticking.
You have 15? 30? 45 minutes? to cement the next step toward a close. Are you winging it or properly prepared to make maximum use of that limited time?
- We close on the details.
We must extract the details which will get us to close. We must constantly ask ourselves “Will the details and specifics I am extracting be sufficient to overcome the urge to do nothing or work with a competitor?”
- Competing against not only other competitors but all the project options on the manager’s plate.
You might end up being a superior option, but if a manager perceives that the change is not worth the effort as compared to all the other things they may do with their time and money, you won’t get the account. Being a superior option is not enough. Your bottom line benefit must be bigger than what other projects would bring.
- Do not be “deselected.”
Do not say anything that could get you knocked out of the Box.