How do you learn the “big picture” issues that are driving client decision-making? It is not a new question, but the standard “Discovery” approach has lost most of its appeal.
Depending on what you sell, Customers will expect you to know what their business is all about prior to talking to them.
Selling is less about what you want to sell and much more about what clients need. Today’s customers are better informed and often have a very good idea of what they are looking for. The selling challenge is to map a customer’s “stated” need into bigger picture issues driving their business.
Linking your product or service to identified “bigger picture” needs of a customer’s business is a tricky proposition. Depending on what you sell, customers will state needs in terms of product specifications.
Avoid taking this specification “bait!” Product specifications provide little insight into the real problems the customer is attempting to solve.
The Key approach in all of this is to focus energy and attention on One Simple Word:
Why is there a Need now? Why not last year, Why not next year?
The more detail you can extract at this level, the better off you will be. Getting to Why Before you start talking about the “What?” will make you a much more accomplished seller.
The Why Track is designed to get you looking at issues that are much bigger than what you are selling. The Inability to Link your Product/Service to a more Directed Business issue is the reason so Many Sellers end up being “Really Busy” but getting no where from a Sales perspective.
Answer the Why for your own benefit, not for your Boss or some report!