Did you know that most sales professionals refer to their initial sales calls as “discovery calls?” And with good reason — the purpose of these initial conversations is to “discover” whether they have solutions to the prospective client’s problems. Through the act of “discovery,” seasoned salespeople start visioning a partnership that can benefit all parties involved.
Time and time again, I have learned that how well I engage the prospective client in “discovery” directly correlates not just to whether I make the sale, but also to the deal size and quality. In other words, the more I can learn about a client during the initial conversations, the bigger and more rewarding the scope of work becomes.
For you, as a service provider, this means that the more you can discover during a sales call, the better. And how do you do that? Ask as many questions as possible.
According to a recent study by the American Association of Inside Sales Professionals, top sales performers ask between 11-14 questions per call.
Depending on your style, you may think that’s a lot, or you may think that’s a little — but after listening to countless sales calls over the years, I can tell you that the average business owner asks fewer than six juicy, relevant questions during discovery. And that’s not enough to build trust, deeply understand the issues at play, or craft a winning proposal.
So, the next time you’re on a sales call, transform it into a “discovery call” by challenging yourself to ask more questions — and not just “How are you today?” Ask real questions that get to the heart of what they’re trying to do, what’s holding them back, and that tee you up as the perfect antidote to what ails them.
What questions do you ask on your sales calls? Pop them in the comments below!
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- Closing techniques that feel enlightened and aligned, not tone-deaf and aggressive
- Strategies to attract your ideal customers using your inherent strengths and gifts
- A framework for leading sales conversations and powerfully pitching your services
- An understanding of how to own the buying process so it feels like you’re working in partnership with your potential clients — not fumbling in the dark, unsure to how to follow up