At Samurai Business Group one of the key things that we do is help salespeople learn how to have discovery conversations instead of meetings. Using the Socratic questioning methods that doctors and lawyers use, we use to investigate the company with thoughtful and proper positioning to figure out how to help them in the best way possible.
By asking the proper questions you can gain credibility which leads to trust with the customer which is the most important thing. That trust is the difference-maker that will lead to sales. Trust is what makes people want to do business with you over someone else.
Start putting discovery conversations to work for you and learn more about our sales training and sales coaching services today.
Bob Lambert: You know, it used to be, before the Internet, the salesperson really had the information, so it was a lot easier to get in front of a buyer or a prospect because you had the information. They’d invite you in, Sally and Jim and whatever, to share your information, your knowledge.
Now, guess what? They go to the Internet. They know more about you on the Internet before you even walk in the door. about you, your company, your pricing, your competition. When you’re getting in front of a buyer today, you got to be on as to find out, what specifically are you there for?
There’s something going on that they feel you have a solution for. That’s the key to what we do, is to help do a discovery conversation. We don’t have meetings anymore. We have discovery conversations.
We use an old method that is only taught in two educations of people. That’s called the Socratic questioning method. There’s only two professions that are trained in that educationally. That’s healthcare givers, mainly doctors, and attorneys. Those two professions are skilled at this. If you ever watch them, you know a good doctor is asking you great questions because they got to diagnose.
They got to figure out what’s going on with you. Same thing with an attorney, only in a little bit of a different way that they’re doing it. They’re trying to get something out, maybe that, they could use to their advantage. It’s a deposition.
Interviewer: Yeah, I’ve heard the term, you don’t prescribe before you diagnose.
Bob: Exactly, exactly, and you’re absolutely right. I use the metaphor all the time, that you’re an investigator. You’re there investigating and helping them. Be careful with that. You can’t throw questions at them like it’s an interrogation because that’s going to turn people off. Being very thoughtful about it, and how you position the question.
As Socrates once said, “I can’t teach a man anything. I can only ask him questions to make him think.” Voltaire said it even better, “Judge a man not by his answers, but by the questions he asks.” That’s surely the essence of this. If I ask you a great question and I get you thinking, there’s a couple of wonderful things that happen.
No matter how many three letters I have after my name, that gets me table steaks, but here’s the deal. If I ask you a great question and I kick you back and make you think, either consciously or subconsciously, you’re saying, “That’s a great question Bob asked. Geez, I wonder why he asked that question now? He must know the answer to that.”
All of a sudden, this credibility comes to you. I keep saying it’s magic. That credibility now leads to trust. That’s the holy grail for anybody, in business or even at home, but more importantly, in sales. You better get that person trusting you. That’s the difference-maker, whether they’re going to do business with you or the next guy down the street.