The Audible-Ready Sales Podcast
The Audible-Ready Sales Podcast

Episode · 3 years ago

How to Summarize a Great Discovery Meeting

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

How do you summarize a great discovery session in a way that moves the sales opportunity forward? Senior Director Ray de Avila discusses best practices.

Hello, I'm Rachel Clad Miller withforce management, joined today by senior director Rayde Avela, who's joining me totalk discovery. Welcome, Ray, welcome, welcome, welcome. I'm so gladto be here. Thank you, Rachel. As we all know,discoveries such a hefty topic. I write about discovery all the time. Ifeel like it's every week I'm writing a new blog about discovery. I knowI'm excited about this conversation today because we're going to talk about a specific partof discovery that's really critical in order to advance the sales process. Yeah,so, Rachel, this is a big topic right. I mean, Icould think we could spend days talking about discovery. It's something that's not easyfor people. But but there's two parts to this that I want to talkabout. One is is the discovery process, since sort of a theme around thediscovery process, and then how we leverage that through some of the conversationswe have and how we get back to the customer by providing them with summariesalong the way. Great. So what we're going to talk about mainly todayis discovery summaries. For those of you...

...who have gone through command of themessage. We're really breaking down that what we heard section and putting it intosomething your prospect can use in moving for use moving forward. But let's startfirst with what you said that first part, right, conducting the actual discovery sessionas a Rep. what am I doing during my discovery so I canmake sure I can summarize it, right? That's right. So, fin fundamentally, we're trying to build a business case, right, we're trying tohave a conversation with the client that may or may not even know they havea requirement. So during that process we want to be able to have aconversation that says, Hey, what's going on today? You know, tellme a little bit about what's working, tell me a little bit about what'snot working. We're doing our best to try to understand what some of thecurrent challenges are, that they might be heavy, right, and so wetry to understand that. We try to understand what the negative consequences are.We try to quantify that. Can we take a look and recognize together throughconversation, that man, I've got a little bit of a challenge I needsome help with. That's kind of part one, right. Part two ofthe model says all right, here's the...

...challengers you're having. Let's talk aboutwhat you'd like to be able to do. You know, tell me a littlebit about the kinds of things that would be helpful to you. Tellme a little bit about how those things might add value to your business.So, if you step way back, we call that, right, thevalue based conversation, but fundamentally it's trying to create a gap between where somebodyis today and where they want to be right, and so that's a processwe want to take people through because we know if people recognize there's a gap, they're usually willing to step forward and take action. There's usually enough urgencyaround that to say, man, I don't like the way the world istoday. There's some things I'd like to be able to do. I needto I need to act on this. Sure, and I think sometimes whenwe talk about this in a ten minute podcast, right, it can seemvery simple. But, as you know, when you're doing discovery you might haveseveral conversations, right, you're going to have multiple stakeholders. You're doingdiscovery through many conversations. So sometimes you...

...might just get a couple tips aspart of that value based conversation. That's right. And so when you wantto replay it, how do you form at it in a way that you'reactually replaying and adding value to the person receiving that summary? Yeah, so, you know, depending on your business, right, it could be a singlecall. We have clients that might make a single call and make arecommendation, but that's the norm nowadays. Is Really multiple calls. I meanmost of us are engaging in one, two, three, four calls,maybe over a six twelve month period of time, right, depending on thesophistication of what we sell. But at the end of the day, asI finish up those calls, what I want to be able to do isstart to shape this message let the customer know that we're listening to them.Right, if we look at sales deficit disorder and we look at that researchthat we did around what customers think of salespeople, the first thing they sayis we don't listen to them. Right. So we want to prove to themthat after this call, I've heard...

...you and I'm going to take thetime to summarize, right, and and really a discovery summary comes in threeforms. I can do it verbally in the call, the end of thecall and say hey, Rachel, listen, do you mind if I take asecond? So want to make sure I'm tracking, or I can leavethe call and put an email together or type a letter and send that tothem. But either way it's a communication that ends up going back to thecustomer. That says, Rachel, I really appreciate the time we spent today. Let me just clarify what I learned. Here's currently what I understood the situationto be. I know we only put spoke for twenty minutes, buthere's what I learned today. And Oh, by the way, I look forwardto getting together with you the next week and continuing to have this conversation. So that comes to the customer in the form of maybe an email orsome level of communication. And I would think ideal state would be in themeeting and you're wrapping up in your next steps, you're wrapping up your yourautolready to kind of deliver some sort of discoveries summary verbally on the phone orin person, right we doing? And then you're following up with those samepoints in the email to reiterate it right,...

...and you know, the email doesa couple of things. We talked a lot about being a lead aroundhere, and we know that elite people do things differently, and this isan elite behavior, because we're asking a salesperson to leave a call, spendten minutes, fifteen minutes on their computer to type up a quick email andsay thank you and let me share with you what I've learned. So there'sa piece of that that's really important for the customer on the receiving end.They look at that, they get these and they go wow, they're payingattention there listening. But more importantly, I think the discovery serve summary servesa much bigger purpose and that is many of the people we talked to meor may not even know they have a requirement. Sure, right, sowe jump in, we have some nice conversation. What a discovery summary allowsme to do is it allows me to start to visually share that gap withthem so we can coordinate and create this...

...discovery summary in a way that saysRachel, let me share with you what I learned about what's going on currently. What's your current state here? What are some of the things that aren'tworking for you in some of the challenges? Here's what I've heard, and thenthe other side of that says all right, down at the bottom ofthe email, let me share with you what we've learned about where you'd liketo be. So what happens during this process as you start to see thatgap between where somebody is today and where they'd like to be, and youspell that out for them? Right, and as a result, it's kindof lifting up or showing them, showing a mirror, putting a mirror tothe issue. Right, right, making them look at look at the gapthat they have. That's right. And sometimes you leave a call and thecustomers not thinking in those terms. And I get a lot of people whereI hear, Hey, you know what, I hadn't really looked at the problemthis way until you really started to put organize it this way. Ihadn't really looked at I didn't really realize we had this gap between where weare and where we want to be.

So the discovery summary does a greatjob of helping US navigate through that sales engagement from start to finish, becauseit's a document and a tool that we can use along the whole way selfdiscovery. Yeah, for the prospect that's right. That's right. And you know,we talked about discovery and and I think there's a lot of people thatbelieve that discovery is really about understanding as much as I can from the client, right, so I can shape a solution. But there's really another piecethat I think it's even more important, and that is that customer coming tothe realization for themselves that they have an issue that they need to deal with, and that happens through discovery. Right, it happens to the discovery process.Hopefully as a result of our conversation, you say, you know what,in talking with you, I'm realizing I have some things on my plateand some challenges, works breience around here that I hadn't really thought about before. Right. Yeah, now I'm feeling pain, even though I didn't knowI had it. It's right, that's...

...right. Now. One of thegoals of these summaries is to help your prospect as you said, but whenyou create a great summary of the conversation and you're sending it via email,that person can use that to internally sell and get you access to other people. Yeah, you know, it's interesting because what happens in a lot ofcases is you start to build a business case for people, and this isreally the start of that business case. It does a couple of things.First of all, I think it does a great job of helping the customerssee they have a problem, as we've talked about. But the other thingis, as a salesperson, it puts me in a position to say,have I created enough urgency through my conversations for that customer to continue to meetwith me? Is there a compelling reason, based upon the conversations that are unfolding, for them to set another meeting to get another key stakeholder involved?Right, so this gets piece together over time and as this moves through thesales engagement it starts to become a document that's been weighed on by many peoplein the organization and reflects really a good...

...snapshot of what's going on in theirbusiness. Right. Do you have any examples of high unsis or benefits thatyou've seen? If I have a ton of example, but the best onehappened many years ago and I'm not going to tell you how long. Okay, okay, but one thing I need to say is I've been I've carrieda bag my whole life, right, and I'm not going to tell youhow many years, but over twenty. I've used this process. I wasexposed to this a long time ago and I was on a call and wentout and that with the very high level at an organization. He was theColo and he shared with me all the challenges that he was having. SoI went back proudly. It's one of the first ones I put together andI put a discovery summary Together and as I started to put the discovery summarytogether the way I was taught, what I found is that I only knewthe current situation. I didn't ask him any questions about what he wanted toaccomplish or what the outcomes were. So it forced me to go, ohmy gosh, I failed. I called the guy back and I said,listen, I neglected to ask you some...

...really important questions. Can I taketen more minutes? We talked for a little bit. Long Story Short,put a discovery summary Together. It's beautiful. I sent it to him. Iwas so proud and I went back and we met. Followed up ata follow up meeting and I walked into as meeting and he was scribbling allover it and I thought, what are you doing to my discovery summary?Right, I put a lot of time into bay. But what was hedoing when he was scribbling on it, adding notes? He was adding notes, but he was making it his. Yeah, right, it was makingit his. So I we put that together. I thought things were goingreally well until he told me, listen, I'm not willing to step forward untilwe hire an open position at the CFO. I thought, Great,here we go, here we go. This went on for a long time. About a year later he calls me back and he says we got ourCFO and I said great, we set up a meeting. I went outto talk with him. I got in front of their board and I sharedwhat I had learned and I put this...

...in front of folks and I said, is this your current situation? I said yeah, that's it. Isaid, well, as as your desired situation, because this is what Jimtold me. Said, yeah, that's that's a really good reflection of what'sgoing on around here. It's a great I went back to the first pageand I circled the date and I said, guys, just so you know,this document was prepared over a year ago. I said, frankly,I'm disappointed, but I don't know if I'm really helping you. What's beenthe cost of living with these same problems that you outline for me a yearago. If you don't step up to the plane and do something, thenwe're going to be living with two year old problems next year. And LongStory Short, we ended up winning this business. But the thing that's compellingabout it for me is why was that tool so impactful in that meeting?And there were two reasons. One was the fact that I put a summaryTogether and at a date, but the...

...second and maybe most compelling is whosewords were these? These are their words. I didn't make this up. Soit was very compelling when I said, gentlemen, this is what you toldme. Is this right? This is what I heard here. Andso it's a really compelling tool that you can use to make sure that youare building a strong business case for people and they're willing to take charge andmove forward with you in this campaign because you know you've taken the time toreally listen to them and reflect back what you've learned. It's you know,as you go for the process, you're offering value with every meeting and that'swhat this does. It does and it makes an impression on people. Imean as you start to do this. It kind of creates a new standardand how you work with people, and what I try to encourage people todo is if you can have the discipline to do a couple of these,because the first one you do is going to take a while, right,right. You've never done it before and you're going to go, oh mygosh, it takes too long. After a while, these start to comeout really easy and if you can do two or three of these, Ithink what you're going to find as a customer is going to wake up.They're going to say, you know what,...

Rachel, can't believe you put thistogether for me. Thank you so much. I've never had anyone dothis, and that's elite, you know, and so it's taken that extra step. I think it's a powerful tool. Right, clearly, I think you've'veoutlined the reasons why today. Any other things you want to add beforewe wrap your right? Yeah, you know, just one last thing,I guess in summary, is that recognize that you you don't have a lotof opportunities to make big impressions on people, Sure, and this is kind ofone of those tools that makes a big impression on people and I thinkmost importantly, I know from experience that if you do this and do thiswell, it's going to have the impact on your business. So I wantto encourage everybody to go out and try doing this great well, there's thecharge. You all heard it from, right. Yeah, thank you forjoining me today. Right. Thank you to all of you for listening.

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