Why Thoroughness is Crucial in Discovery Meetings
Sales discovery call—a purposeful conversation aimed at gathering crucial information about a client's needs, pain points, and potential solutions.
It always feels too short, that you can never get all the questions out before time runs out.
Like a detective solving a mystery, a professional in a discovery meeting seeks to uncover every clue, every piece of the puzzle.
This attention to detail and thoroughness is crucial in building a comprehensive understanding of the client's situation, which forms the foundation of subsequent negotiations, solutions, and strategies.
The more thorough the discovery, the more tailor-made and effective the solution can be.
But discovery calls are usually cut short for many reasons:
- Prospects pushing for demo
- Prospects keeping their cards close to their chest
- Ran out of time
It’s very common to end the meeting with questions left unanswered. What do you do then? Just leave those CRM fields empty, or try to persist for answers via emails, messages, follow-up calls?
It's Okay to Ask Again: Debunking the Myth
There's a common misconception in business communication: the notion that asking again, revisiting a topic, or admitting that you may have missed something during the discovery process can be seen as unprofessional or inefficient.
The reality is the opposite. Clients appreciate professionals who exhibit a genuine interest in understanding their problems and challenges thoroughly.
If you've overlooked something in a discovery meeting, it's not only acceptable but admirable to go back and ask again.
The willingness to revisit topics shows your dedication to finding the most effective solution, and that's an attitude clients respect and value.
Leaving questions unanswered will cost you
Imagine you're in a discovery meeting with a manufacturing company that's experiencing some bottlenecks in their production line.
As you deep dive into their primary issue, the client offhandedly mentions a recent shift to using more environmentally-friendly materials.
It's not presented as a problem, just a comment. You noticed it but did not think it is probably worth the time to delve deeper, so you skip asking further questions about it.
Your focus stays on the production issues and you offer a top-notch solution to streamline their operations.
The feedback is great, the client appreciates your thorough approach to their main concern. But then, a few weeks later, you learn they've gone with a competitor. And the kicker?
The other competitor offered a similar solution for the production line, but they also included a section on optimizing processes around the new environmentally-friendly materials.
Techniques for Effective Follow-up in Discovery
How can you effectively circle back to a topic or question that was missed during a discovery meeting? Here are a few pointers:
In the world of business, clarity and transparency are key. It's important to let your clients know if you need to revisit certain topics or if you feel like you missed something in your discovery meeting.
It's okay to admit that you want a more comprehensive understanding to ensure you're providing the best possible solution. This approach not only shows that you're professional, but it also conveys your dedication to your client's needs. Remember, we're all human and sometimes we might need a bit more information to make things clearer. In doing this, you build trust and ensure open lines of communication.
Frame it Positively
When circling back to topics or questions, it's crucial to frame your approach in a positive light. The goal here isn't to point out an oversight, but rather to emphasize your commitment to providing the most effective solution.
You could say something like, "To ensure that we provide the best service tailored to your specific needs, I'd like to revisit some points from our previous conversation."
This positions the follow-up as a step towards better service and a more personalized solution, and demonstrates your proactive nature.
Leverage AI Technology
Sometimes, you are not sure if the answers were mentioned in part or at all.
AI knowledge search tools like Wudpecker can make your follow-ups more efficient. With a simple prompt, you can pull up crucial information from past meetings.
Did you miss a detail about a client's operations? A quick search can bring up that information.
Or maybe you need to find that moment in the meeting when the client mentioned a secondary issue?
Again, technology can help you retrieve that. This allows you to fill any gaps in your understanding and ensures you're fully prepared for the follow-up conversation.
It's like having a personal assistant that remembers everything, helping you to provide the best service possible.
Case Studies: The Power of Asking Again
An excellent example of the power of asking again comes from Teemu, an experience VP of Sales Operations, who understood the importance of thorough discovery.
After a discovery meeting, Teemu realized that he was missing some key numbers and details. Instead of glossing over it, he made the decision to call his contact back.
In that 15-minute conversation, Teemu managed to fill in some blanks, but not all. So, in the subsequent meeting with other decision-makers, he openly shared his situation.
He stated, "We've spoken about this. But I need you guys to fill up on these two points. And before we agree on what's written in here and that this is a priority, we shouldn't move forward to the demo because I'm going to be demoing for the wrong reasons."
The result? The clients willingly provided the needed information, and the deal proceeded more effectively because Teemu dared to slow down and ask again.
Embracing Thoroughness in the Age of Information Overload
As we navigate the sea of information in the digital age, the importance of thoroughness in discovery meetings becomes even more crucial. It's tempting to rush through meetings, especially with the constant pressure to stay productive.
However, slowing down to ensure that you've covered all bases can lead to more meaningful engagements and ultimately, better business outcomes.
In the words of the renowned writer and translator J.R.R. Tolkien, "Short cuts make for long delays."
By embracing thoroughness in our discovery processes, we can avoid these delays and craft solutions that truly hit the mark. It's okay to ask again, as that often is the path to successful discovery, improved solutions, and satisfied clients.