Whenever you have an opportunity to offer a product or service to some other party, the success of your offering is dependent upon the kind of discovery questions you use to get to the need. One way that people miss opportunities is by asking the wrong questions.
Often times, especially in telecommunications, you can get interest in replacing a current system. Because of the fear of change, a lot of your clients will have no reason to think of new features that haven’t been part of their old system, and because the seller’s impulse is to not sell beyond the close, questions sometimes do not come to light.
Phil Edholm of PKE Consulting gives some thoughts on this matter. He was selling a call center to a police department in Australia. They write citations, mail them a few times, then send someone out to boot the car for their infractions. When Phil asked the agents if they needed an inbound center, they all replied “no, why would they?” Being able to analyse the business needs and operational pain points, he was able to recommend a solution where those who were ticketed have a number to call to arrange payment. This saves the additional postage, not to mention the manpower to track down and boot the vehicles. By asking the right question, the opportunity for additional call queues and inbound numbers was realized.
Similarly, relenting to how it was always done is not always the best way to move forward. For example, your potential client may ask to make sure their new system can use call park so the receptionist can park a call then make a page telling everyone who the call is for. While this is a common feature that can be implemented, perhaps there are underlying reasons for the request. Why couldn’t the receptionist merely transfer the calls directly to the user? Perhaps a key system type of arrangement, while it might be a little more expensive, could make things easier. Getting to the root of the request is key.
In order to be prepared to offer better options and additional products, you need to be prepared and knowledgeable of your complete catalog. If this means you have to do some additional homework, or ask your company’s technologist for materials, it will always be in your best interest to do so.
Related Blog: Does Your Company Have Its Own Technologist?
If you can find a better solution for your customer, by asking the right questions to get to the core issues, you place yourself in the best position to maximize customer satisfaction as well as build stickiness for your client.
Also, if you do not offer the right solution, your competitor just might.