Have you ever visited a doctor who says hello, then, went on to explain his credential, time in business, specialty and begin prescribing treatment without asking you a single question?

Alternatively, maybe your visit to an attorney who spent most of your meeting time probing you about your financial ability to pay your legal fees rather than listen to your story.

The above scenarios sound absurd of course! We assume that no respectable doctor or attorney will behave that way. A good doctor will spend much time interviewing you and examining you before prescribing any treatment.

A reasonable attorney will spend a significant amount of time questioning and listing to your story, without judgment before exploring and evaluating all available legal options to handle your case.

These professional understand the power and value of asking the right questions to understand your situation before even thinking about a remedy or a solution.

Many salespeople consider themselves professionals, yet, they hardly ask enough questions before starting pitching a generic solution.

According to Gong’s analysis of 519,000 discovery calls, there’s a direct correlation between the number of questions a rep asks and their chances of success.

Asking 11-14 questions over the course of discovery call is more effective than 7-10. Issues related to prospect’s business pain points and objectives often lead to establishing trust and closed business.

Effective questioning should be evenly dispersed throughout the meeting, not just at the beginning of the session. the Usage of collaborative words produce the best results.of

Ask Why?

Only a few salespeople take the time to dig deep to understand the business challenges, motivation, and priorities. Decision makers love to talk about their businesses, their accomplishment, and expectations with salespeople subject matters experts that genuinely listen instead of pitch.


  • What are the current challenges you are looking to solve?
  • What is the area that needs immediate attention?
  • What are you trying to accomplish with the adoption of this solution? Short-Term and long-term.

Prospects are often more eager to find a business solution that will resolve an operational gap and allow the business to gain a competitive edge.

Customer centricity is vital to win business, and it should be all about helping the prospect first. The sale should become an extension of solving a business challenge. Not a self-centered way to hit quota or make a commission check.

Listen, Listen

Do not allow your inner chatter take over your listening capability.  It’s not time to worry about your prospect objections, excuses, and even reasons.

Do not engage in selective listening. You can always separate the meaningful from the superficial at the very end. Keep asking questions and take good note just like a good doctor or lawyer would.

Recap the essence of the challenge the prospect faces.

Caring salespeople take their time recapping the list of current challenges that need resolution. A customized business solution that discusses current challenges will need to be established, explained in detail before implementation. Clarity, transparency and empathetic listening coupled with flawless execution create repeat sales and long-term relationships.

Your brand is more important than a sale.

This is a truism for professional salespeople and rookies. It’s the key to your success. Salespeople reputation and integrity often dictate the level of their repeat business and success.

  • You should always act in the best interest of your customer.
  • Never sale the wrong solution to make a deal.
  • If your solution does not fit your prospect needs, refer your prospect to another vendor whose business solution may be a better fit.

The best doctor refers you to another specialist when your situation is beyond his scope of expertise. Do the same.

Think Long-term

Prospects have unique businesses that require specific solutions. Your company may not have the right answer. Never force a sale that will tarnish your reputation along with your company.

Once you diagnose the ail, prescribe the right solution, including competitor’s solutions. Then, a follow-up to ensure client satisfaction. A happy prospect will refer business to you, primarily because of your honesty and integrity.

Respect your competitor’s

I believe that the market is comprised of good companies and people that are looking to add-value just like you are. Therefore, you should respect and admire your competitor’s contributions to the local economy. Embrace the mentality of continued optimism, by referring prospects to your competitors.

Your selflessness will trigger reciprocity leads back when your competitor solutions do not meet their prospect needs. This business maturity will benefit everyone involved, and it’s a win-win forward-thinking approach.


As a professional career salesperson, you should care – just like a doctor -about the well-being of your prospects.

Moreover, just like a lawyer- you should ask meaningful questions without judgment to ensure that you deliver the best solution possible to resolve your customer needs even if you must refer your prospect to your competitors. Always, think in term of doing what’s right first and foremost.

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