Discovery calls are a continuation of your qualifying process – is this potential client a good fit for you and are you a good fit for her? Add just one thing and you can turn a discovery call into a sales call.
Your prospect may only have had an inkling of how to solve her problem, or she may already have three proposals in hand. In either case, once you’ve fully understood the actual problem to be solved, if you can’t sell the value that you or your company brings to the solution, your discovery call will go no further.
Value isn’t just about price. Value is about how well you solve the problem AND how well you solve the problem using the prospect’s buying criteria. You may be one of dozens of companies providing the same solution, but only you provide it with a fully explained and itemized invoice. Or dark chocolate with every delivery. Or an extra hour of consulting each month. You get the idea.
When you can solve a prospect’s problem in exactly the way they want it solved AND provide ‘extras’ that have value to your prospect you’ve turned your discovery call into a sales call. Now your prospect is much more likely to want to move to next steps and may even have thrown their initial budget restrictions out.
Here are a few tips to help you turn discovery calls into sales calls:
Find out everything you can about this potential client ahead of your discovery call so that your time spent with her is focused on clarifying and problem identification rather than learning things you can find in the public domain.
Most discovery calls only go as far as step three and don’t get into problem solving. That’s ok, as long as you have set up and clearly communicated that the next step is a solution.
Not until you’ve asked great questions and fully understand the actual problem your prospect is experiencing do you begin to ‘sell’ your solution. You can’t sell your value until you fully understand the real problem the prospect is experiencing and what her key buying criteria might be.
Too many people rush into their solution before they fully understand the problem to be solved. Worse, they’ve correctly identified the solution needed, but make no effort to understand buying criteria and what’s of value to the potential client. If either you or your prospect aren’t ready to turn a discovery call into a sales call, don’t. Instead, set up a proposal follow up call or presentation based on the value you can bring to this specific client.
And then, more importantly, ask for the business!
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