"In addition to the information you gather regarding your prospect's needs, you also need information as the seller. You need to know who the decision maker is, what their budget is, what their timeframe/sense of urgency is in order to be sure you have a clear picture in its entirety." excerpt from Lemonade Stand Selling
Have you ever been in a meeting with a prospect and they won't give you any answers to these questions? Most salespeople experience this at least once in their career. The reason you need the answers to these questions is twofold.
1. You need to have a full understanding of the situation the prospect is in. You need to find out the process and viability of doing business with them. It's more than knowing the specific project. You need to know how the company or person operates.
2. If the prospect won't give you the information you need and ask for you have to ask yourself a question. That question is this - does this prospect really want to do business with me? Sometimes prospects meet with a handful of companies so they can say they did their homework. The whole time they intended to use a particular vendor. When you ask the prospect questions and they hedge or avoid answer them, this is a signal that there's a problem.
Better to find out early whether the prospect is a good one. Consider this one aspect of qualifying the prospect. The relationship is one of the most important parts of the process. If you can't start building a relationship during the discovery process, chances are you won't be able to do business with that particular prospect. Time to move on!.
In Lemonade Lesson #24 we'll explore powerful proposals.