Sales Messaging: The Problem with Persuasion

Some people don’t like to be persuaded. Among them — your potential customers — who don’t want to be told why they should buy your product or service. The more you try to persuade them to buy, the more they will resist you. But the more they understand how your value and differentiation solves their problems, the more they will persuade themselves that you have the right solution for them.

If you can’t attach your product to a customer problem or the positive business outcomes your customers are trying to achieve, you aren’t going to win the business.

So what should you do? Start rattling off information about your products and hope something sticks? Good luck with that.

Discovery is the centerpiece of winning business. If you want to sell on value, you have to ask great discovery questions. Good discovery questions are the best way to uncover customer needs. They help your customers clarify their thoughts, articulate what they need and evaluate their options

Effective discovery questions are open-ended. They can’t be answered with just one word. They encourage the customer to elaborate. “Can you tell me about a time. . .” “Explain for me the process. . .” “What would the consequences be if. . .”

Asking open-ended questions results in a two-sided conversation. Both you and the customer learn from their answers. There is magic in customers hearing themselves admit the problems they’re having. It creates buying momentum and gives you leverage to win the deal.

Remember, discovery questions help you uncover customer needs and create a sense of urgency. Even more importantly, a good discovery process helps you move your customer through the buying cycle in a way that differentiates your solutions from your competition.

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