Using the mean question and the discovery summary

Bob Davis The Quality Conversation bookAn excerpt from The Quality Conversation by Bob Davis

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The mean question

When you are selling, you need to understand what it will mean to the customer when your product or service solves the issues you uncover with your issue questions. This requires you to ask a mean question. For example:

                                •  “What would it mean to you to have more customers come to your store?”


More often than not, sales people do not ask mean questions, either because they assume they know what the solution would mean to the customer, or they are afraid to ask. The fact is that if you ask them, you will learn the buying motive and will be in a far better position to close the sale.


What would it mean to your organization for these tactics to drive your sales, retention and customer satisfaction results dramatically higher? Contact Bob Davis today for a free consultation.


Discovery summary

Once you have completed the full discovery step of The Quality Conversation process, it is time to complete the discovery summary. Here, you summarize the key points you discovered when you asked all of the discovery questions. You do not need to repeat everything the other person said. Just focus on the key points, including the issues that need to be solved and what it would mean to the individual for the issues to be solved. It is also important to get agreement from the customer on your summary. If you are selling cable services, it will sound something like this:

  • “Thank you for sharing all that information with me, Mr. Johnson. So, if I understand your situation, you are getting your Internet and home phone from our competition. You are happy with your home phone and the unlimited long distance plan you are on, but you are less than happy with your Internet. You said that your teenage children complain about buffering when they are watching Netflix, and it is too slow for some of the online games they want to play. You also told me that if you could get a faster Internet speed at the house, you would be a hero with your kids, and that is important to you. Is that about right?”

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