So, you've got the appointment for your Discover meeting. Good for you...now what? The Discover meeting is a critical part of the selling process, so “winging it” should never be your strategy.
Most sellers understand that the goal of the Discover meeting is to uncover an urgent need that they can help solve, and then leave with an assignment. To accomplish this, you must ask great questions.
By “great” questions, I mean ones that: get the wheels turning inside their head, make them glad you asked, allow them to talk about what’s hot from their point of view, and make you seem valuable. Remember, every question you ask will either enhance or detract from your credibility.
Where To Look For Needs Analysis Questions
The 4As Needs Analysis Model is a great place to start. Those questions are specifically designed to help you make the most of your Discover meeting while walking away with a well-defined desired business result. You will also want to customize some questions based on the client you're calling on.
Below is a list of places to look when developing your Discover questions. A helpful tip: as you’re doing your research, simply focus on topics of discussion rather than trying to form a question on the spot. Gather topics first, then create your questions.
1. Their Website
While you may be there to learn more about their business, you want to make sure you demonstrate that you’ve done your homework and aren’t asking questions that you could have figured out the answer to from their website. Cover any basics before the meeting (years in business, number of locations, etc.).
Next, look at everything from company goals and initiatives to charity ties and current promotions. Get a feel for what they’re trying to accomplish. From there, you could ask about challenges, obstacles, successes of goals, and promotions.
2. Industry Websites and News
Educate yourself on what’s going on in their industry. Note any topics worth discussing that could be impacting them. Search something along the lines of “cosmetic surgery industry trends” or “cosmetic surgery industry news” in preparation for a meeting with a cosmetic surgeon.
From there, you might find an industry website with a study revealing that more men have been getting plastic surgery. This topic could prompt several questions for your prospect.
Since every business is unique, the Discover meeting can be a great time to learn how their business is run, how they turn a profit, etc. But it would benefit you to have a basic understanding of how the average company in their industry works.
Google can be a great place to find answers. For example, “How does an automotive dealership work”? Or “Business model for an orthodontist.”
4. The News
Check to see if your prospect has been in the news recently. I like simply searching in the “Google News” filter to see what I find.
Note anything that might be worth discussing. You also might set up Google Alerts, so any news about the company is delivered right to you.
5. Social Media
Use social media to learn about both the company and the person you’re meeting with (great for the rapport phase). See if you can determine what they’re trying to accomplish through each profile. How are people interacting with their company page?
6. Competitor’s Websites
If you know some of their main competitors, find out what they’re doing and ask how it’s affecting your prospect; and/or how they’re combatting it.
Start with the 4As Needs Analysis Model, then gather your topics and develop your questions from there.
Remember, be flexible and listen to their answers. Through simple preparation, you will undoubtedly build credibility, set yourself apart from the rest of the sellers trying to compete for your prospect’s attention, and leave with an assignment.
*Editor's Note: This blog has been updated since its original publish date