Over the last few weeks at LeadUp, I’ve had the privilege of ghosting on a few of the sales team’s calls. Being the sleuth that I am, I’ve picked up on a pattern within these conversations, stemming from the team’s uncanny ability to do two things: connect to whichever customer that’s on the other line, and direct them along the path they want the call to follow. With hundreds of companies offering the same products and services, making it or breaking it comes down to differentiating yourself from the crowd: what makes you stand out? This is the recurring method I’ve noticed in answering that question and successfully moving through a discovery call.
1. Establish a connection
As a sales person, if you are able to find a commonality between yourself and your client and build a sense of connection on it, then you’re already driving along the path to success. If I can relate to someone, I am more able to trust them. If I can trust someone, I am more likely to buy from them. You should make it your first job to establish a connection between yourself and your client before you introduce your product to them, because that will result in a higher likelihood of them trusting your product and your pitch. Potentially hundreds of companies might offer the same product. Even if you know that your product is hands-down the best out of those, you should still give your client another reason to do business with you. If they enter your pitch with an established affinity for you, then they’ll see the rest of your conversation in a more positive light, and sometimes, framing can be the difference between a sale and a fail.
2. Ask questions
Once a connection has been established, you can move into finding out more about their perspective. As I mentioned in previous blog-posts, your job as a customer-centric sales person is finding the problem you can solve for your client, and working together to fix it. You aren’t doing this just to rack up numbers; you’re selling because you believe in your product and know that it will help your client be more successful. The first step in the process of problem-identification is getting to know your client’s business.The more you know about their perspective, the more you know about where you can fit into the picture, and that’s what you’re trying to accomplish over and over and over again. If you are able to tailor your pitch to a particular customer’s desires and business model, your likelihood of success skyrockets. Ask questions that highlight the gap you will be filling for them. Your job is to learn more about their company, while facilitating the eventual realization that your product will help them, based on their own responses. Rather than telling them about the problem you’ll solve, guide them toward self-diagnoses.
Aside from finding where you fit in, asking questions shows curiosity; it builds upon the connection that you established in the first step. When a person knows that you care about what they also care about, whatever connection you had drawn up from step 1 deepens.
3. Fit yourself into the picture
At this point, you’ve found something you have in common with your customer and developed a deeper understanding of their business and goals. Now it’s time to show them where you come in and how you can help them. Together, you’ve located the gap, (the problem they’re facing that you’re solving), and now you can demonstrate how you will fill it. In doing so, you will help them reach the particular model of success they’ve shared with you. Tailor your response to the details they’ve provided, talk to them in their terms, show them that you get it. You don’t just understand what their company does, but you understand how they think: nobody knows how to help them better than you, because you’re one of them. Well, now it feels like I’m writing about a cult, but the point still stands. Drink the Kool-Aid, am I right?
If anybody has input on what else should be included in conducting the ideal discovery call, I’d love to learn more. Please comment or message me–I’m looking for any resources I can get my hands on!