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Discovery Phase – What Are You Missing?

Discovery Phase in the Sales ProcessDiscovery is the critical phase of the sales process that, if handled improperly, will make closing the deal later, almost impossible.

Think about this today as you transition from Meet & Greet to the DISCOVERY phase of the sales process. This is the part where you ask focussed questions and actually listen to what the customer is saying because he/she has a STORY that involves one or more vehicles and how things are not working out for them when it comes to their transportation. You need to understand their entire transportation situation before you can offer solutions.

Remember, don’t follow the customer’s solution, follow the customer’s problems.

One of the customer’s problems is their current vehicle. Better to see it and learn about the “story of their vehicle” early (even before you start presenting your car). Showing interest in their vehicle builds trust and helps you learn about what might be the appropriate vehicle solution. Now here’s the part you are probably missing: Ask how long they have been looking for a car. Then ask, “And how’s that been working out?” You will be surprised at how quickly customers open up to that question and tell you the places they’ve visited, how they were treated, and the problems they had at other dealerships that you are now prepared to deal with effectively.

Make sure you don’t miss this piece of the sales process and you are on your way to a productive day.

Tips on Transitioning to the Discovery Phase

Here are a few specific things you can do to move from the “Meet and Greet” phase to discovering the problems the customer is encountering. Because, solving the customer’s problems will set you apart from the salesperson down the street who is simply “selling”.  First, create a bridge from “Meet & Greet” to the first discovery question by saying this:

  • “By the way, what are you driving now?” Once you get a response, say; “Those were/are great cars. So, why is the Make/Model now falling short of your needs?” and then, “What’s your plan for the Make/Model?”
  • At this point you may discover that their current vehicle is not the issue, i.e., they are adding a vehicle in which case you ask, “So, what kind of vehicle are you thinking will best fit your needs?” Then ask, “And why is that?” while remaining friendly and smiling.
  • If there is a vehicle being replaced, now is the time to express enthusiastic interest in checking it out. Physically move to the vehicle being replaced and do your pre-appraisal walk around during which information about the (potential) trade-in vehicle will surface during your conversation.
  • This no-objection method of transitioning to the Discovery phase will facilitate friendly and focussed conversations particularly if you use everyday language to get the customer talking about why their current situation (or vehicle) is no longer working and what process they are using to find a solution.

Remember that the Meet & Greet and Discovery phases are not “selling” phases and anything that sounds like, looks like, or feels like “selling” will put the prospect on their guard and increase resistance. Now is the time to build a relationship and get a commitment to work with you on this project. There will be a time, later in the process, to do some “selling” but for now, a demonstrated willingness to understand and start solving the prospect’s problems is the most powerful way to motivate the client.

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