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

Episode · 4 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 with force management, joined today by senior director Rayde Avela, who's joining me to talk discovery. Welcome, Ray, welcome, welcome, welcome. I'm so glad to be here. Thank you, Rachel. As we all know, discoveries such a hefty topic. I write about discovery all the time. I feel like it's every week I'm writing a new blog about discovery. I know I'm excited about this conversation today because we're going to talk about a specific part of discovery that's really critical in order to advance the sales process. Yeah, so, Rachel, this is a big topic right. I mean, I could think we could spend days talking about discovery. It's something that's not easy for people. But but there's two parts to this that I want to talk about. One is is the discovery process, since sort of a theme around the discovery process, and then how we leverage that through some of the conversations we have and how we get back to the customer by providing them with summaries along the way. Great. So what we're going to talk about mainly today is discovery summaries. For those of you...

...who have gone through command of the message. We're really breaking down that what we heard section and putting it into something your prospect can use in moving for use moving forward. But let's start first with what you said that first part, right, conducting the actual discovery session as a Rep. what am I doing during my discovery so I can make sure I can summarize it, right? That's right. So, fin fundamentally, we're trying to build a business case, right, we're trying to have a conversation with the client that may or may not even know they have a requirement. So during that process we want to be able to have a conversation that says, Hey, what's going on today? You know, tell me a little bit about what's working, tell me a little bit about what's not working. We're doing our best to try to understand what some of the current challenges are, that they might be heavy, right, and so we try 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 through conversation, that man, I've got a little bit of a challenge I need some help with. That's kind of part one, right. Part two of the model says all right, here's the...

...challengers you're having. Let's talk about what you'd like to be able to do. You know, tell me a little bit about the kinds of things that would be helpful to you. Tell me a little bit about how those things might add value to your business. So, if you step way back, we call that, right, the value based conversation, but fundamentally it's trying to create a gap between where somebody is today and where they want to be right, and so that's a process we 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 urgency around that to say, man, I don't like the way the world is today. There's some things I'd like to be able to do. I need to I need to act on this. Sure, and I think sometimes when we talk about this in a ten minute podcast, right, it can seem very simple. But, as you know, when you're doing discovery you might have several conversations, right, you're going to have multiple stakeholders. You're doing discovery through many conversations. So sometimes you...

...might just get a couple tips as part of that value based conversation. That's right. And so when you want to replay it, how do you form at it in a way that you're actually replaying and adding value to the person receiving that summary? Yeah, so, you know, depending on your business, right, it could be a single call. We have clients that might make a single call and make a recommendation, but that's the norm nowadays. Is Really multiple calls. I mean most of us are engaging in one, two, three, four calls, maybe over a six twelve month period of time, right, depending on the sophistication of what we sell. But at the end of the day, as I finish up those calls, what I want to be able to do is start 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 research that we did around what customers think of salespeople, the first thing they say is we don't listen to them. Right. So we want to prove to them that after this call, I've heard...

...you and I'm going to take the time to summarize, right, and and really a discovery summary comes in three forms. I can do it verbally in the call, the end of the call and say hey, Rachel, listen, do you mind if I take a second? So want to make sure I'm tracking, or I can leave the call and put an email together or type a letter and send that to them. But either way it's a communication that ends up going back to the customer. 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 situation to be. I know we only put spoke for twenty minutes, but here's what I learned today. And Oh, by the way, I look forward to 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 or some level of communication. And I would think ideal state would be in the meeting and you're wrapping up in your next steps, you're wrapping up your your autolready to kind of deliver some sort of discoveries summary verbally on the phone or in person, right we doing? And then you're following up with those same points in the email to reiterate it right,...

...and you know, the email does a couple of things. We talked a lot about being a lead around here, and we know that elite people do things differently, and this is an elite behavior, because we're asking a salesperson to leave a call, spend ten minutes, fifteen minutes on their computer to type up a quick email and say thank you and let me share with you what I've learned. So there's a 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 paying attention there listening. But more importantly, I think the discovery serve summary serves a much bigger purpose and that is many of the people we talked to me or may not even know they have a requirement. Sure, right, so we jump in, we have some nice conversation. What a discovery summary allows me to do is it allows me to start to visually share that gap with them so we can coordinate and create this...

...discovery summary in a way that says Rachel, 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't working for you in some of the challenges? Here's what I've heard, and then the other side of that says all right, down at the bottom of the email, let me share with you what we've learned about where you'd like to be. So what happens during this process as you start to see that gap between where somebody is today and where they'd like to be, and you spell that out for them? Right, and as a result, it's kind of lifting up or showing them, showing a mirror, putting a mirror to the issue. Right, right, making them look at look at the gap that they have. That's right. And sometimes you leave a call and the customers not thinking in those terms. And I get a lot of people where I hear, Hey, you know what, I hadn't really looked at the problem this way until you really started to put organize it this way. I hadn't really looked at I didn't really realize we had this gap between where we are and where we want to be.

So the discovery summary does a great job of helping US navigate through that sales engagement from start to finish, because it'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 that believe 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 piece that I think it's even more important, and that is that customer coming to the 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 plate and 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 know I had it. It's right, that's...

...right. Now. One of the goals of these summaries is to help your prospect as you said, but when you 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 of cases is you start to build a business case for people, and this is really 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 customers see they have a problem, as we've talked about. But the other thing is, 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 meet with 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 the sales engagement it starts to become a document that's been weighed on by many people in the organization and reflects really a good...

...snapshot of what's going on in their business. Right. Do you have any examples of high unsis or benefits that you've seen? If I have a ton of example, but the best one happened 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 carried a bag my whole life, right, and I'm not going to tell you how many years, but over twenty. I've used this process. I was exposed to this a long time ago and I was on a call and went out and that with the very high level at an organization. He was the Colo and he shared with me all the challenges that he was having. So I went back proudly. It's one of the first ones I put together and I put a discovery summary Together and as I started to put the discovery summary together the way I was taught, what I found is that I only knew the current situation. I didn't ask him any questions about what he wanted to accomplish or what the outcomes were. So it forced me to go, oh my gosh, I failed. I called the guy back and I said, listen, I neglected to ask you some...

...really important questions. Can I take ten more minutes? We talked for a little bit. Long Story Short, put a discovery summary Together. It's beautiful. I sent it to him. I was so proud and I went back and we met. Followed up at a follow up meeting and I walked into as meeting and he was scribbling all over it and I thought, what are you doing to my discovery summary? Right, I put a lot of time into bay. But what was he doing when he was scribbling on it, adding notes? He was adding notes, but he was making it his. Yeah, right, it was making it his. So I we put that together. I thought things were going really well until he told me, listen, I'm not willing to step forward until we 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 our CFO and I said great, we set up a meeting. I went out to talk with him. I got in front of their board and I shared what 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. I said, well, as as your desired situation, because this is what Jim told me. Said, yeah, that's that's a really good reflection of what's going on around here. It's a great I went back to the first page and 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 been the cost of living with these same problems that you outline for me a year ago. If you don't step up to the plane and do something, then we're going to be living with two year old problems next year. And Long Story Short, we ended up winning this business. But the thing that's compelling about 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 summary Together and at a date, but the...

...second and maybe most compelling is whose words were these? These are their words. I didn't make this up. So it was very compelling when I said, gentlemen, this is what you told me. Is this right? This is what I heard here. And so it's a really compelling tool that you can use to make sure that you are building a strong business case for people and they're willing to take charge and move forward with you in this campaign because you know you've taken the time to really 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's what this does. It does and it makes an impression on people. I mean as you start to do this. It kind of creates a new standard and how you work with people, and what I try to encourage people to do 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 my gosh, it takes too long. After a while, these start to come out really easy and if you can do two or three of these, I think 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 this together for me. Thank you so much. I've never had anyone do this, 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've outlined the reasons why today. Any other things you want to add before we wrap your right? Yeah, you know, just one last thing, I guess in summary, is that recognize that you you don't have a lot of opportunities to make big impressions on people, Sure, and this is kind of one of those tools that makes a big impression on people and I think most importantly, I know from experience that if you do this and do this well, it's going to have the impact on your business. So I want to encourage everybody to go out and try doing this great well, there's the charge. You all heard it from, right. Yeah, thank you for joining me today. Right. Thank you to all of you for listening.

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