The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Don't Do It! Stop Pitching and Start Asking!

Stop Pitching and Start Asking

Don't do it. I know you want to do it, but you can't.

Seriously!  STOP IT!

"Do what" you innocently ask?

Pitching your product or service in your first meeting with a new client.

"But…but…but," I can already hear your excuses. 

"We are SALES people!  We are supposed to SELL!" 

Technically, yes, you are "supposed" to sell, but not yet! 

Be patient.  Follow the process.  Trust the process.  We have to slow down the sales process so that we can speed up the sale!

5 Discovery Questions to Ask Prospects 

New call-to-actionOne of the biggest mistakes that salespeople make is jumping into their sales pitch too quickly with a prospect. The prospect is not ready.  You are not ready. 

You have to use this first business meeting to understand this prospect's business, product or service, goals, and challenges. The first meeting, the Discover meeting, is the cornerstone of the sales process. Without it, you will be left to blindly pitch your solution, really your product, without knowing what your prospect is trying to achieve.

And if you are just pitching a product or service that is not directly tied to the desired business result that your prospect needs to accomplish, you are just a widget or commodity.  And we all know how commodities are bought and sold.  It will be all about the lowest price available.

That's why the Discover meeting and the questions that you ask are so important in the sales process.  The answers that you receive will lead you down the path to your prospect's desired business results.  You can then prepare a proposal with a solution that helps them achieve their goals.

Here are 5 Discover questions that will help you uncover your prospect's real needs or goals:

1. Help me see the business through your eyes. When you look at your P&L, what do you pay the most attention to?

This is a great initial question to get the prospect to open up about their business and what is important to them.

2. What areas of the business account for the bulk of your sales?

A business owner will be hyper-focused on their largest revenue areas. So, if they are looking to grow or solve a problem, this is a great place to start.

3. What key business results are you focused on achieving this year?

Now, you are narrowing your question to their specific goals.

4. What opportunities do you want to capitalize on in the future?

Every business owner gets excited about growth opportunities.  This question will open the door to a deeper understanding of what they want to achieve.

5. Which results are you having trouble achieving?

Where there are problems, there are opportunities for you to help solve them.

Of course, these are just a few questions that you will need to ask, but it's a good start, and it will help you see potential challenges or goals that your prospect is interested in solving. 

Free Download: Needs Analysis Record Worksheet

Topics: Needs Analysis sales process