Better Discovery Boosts Business

Bob Schultek Author of
The Gauntlet

When a customer encounters a problem, they tend to tightly control the information shared with external suppliers in their quotation requests. There is urgency to resolve the problem, so these

If your solution is more complex, offering to produce more benefits for the customer with a related higher purchase investment, then responding as the customer expects, with simplicity, speed, and minimal dialogue, reduces your chance to earn their business.

Proposing your solution, without first discovering why resolving their problem is important to them, how its outcome supports their longer-term progress, wastes your opportunity to explain how your experience and competency differentiates your offering, and to describe how you will deliver the promised additional benefits while successfully resolving their problem.

inquiries are intended to generate prompt responses that enable a simple comparison of alternatives, with minimal supplier interaction. This facilitates a quick purchase decision, often based on just price and delivery.

A productive discovery dialogue with the customer asks the right questions, in the right order, to clarify the customer’s current circumstances and needs, reveal the objectives or goals that underlie those needs, and identify the barriers that are inhibiting their progress. Your proposed solution must meet their needs, but it will more valuable to them if it also overcomes their barriers to accelerate their progress.

It’s a discussion that transforms the transaction. The customer’s perception of you is enhanced, their awareness of what they truly value is heightened, and their decision risk is reduced when your discovery process is effective. In return, you gain insight into their aspirations, learn how they define success, and uncover their decision-making process, strengthening your potential to earn their business.

How could a better discovery dialogue increase your business?

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