Don’t Fall Into These 3 Discovery Question Traps!

Good salespeople know that the quality of your discovery motion is directly related to the quality of the questions you ask. In the past, I’ve shared some of the best open-ended questions, the surprising science behind how you order your questions, as well as the types of questions buyers actually love answering the most. But when it comes to asking high-value discovery questions there are a few key traps many sellers still fall into. Here’s what they are and how you can avoid them!


1. Asking Leading Questions

A leading question is a bit like a logic trap. In other words, it’s a question you ask your customer where your goal is to get them to respond with the obvious or intuitive answer that gives you “consent” to continue with your pitch. For example,

  • Can your business handle more high-quality leads?
  • Do you like to save money when you shop?
  • Would you love to be financially independent and live the life of your dreams?

Who wouldn’t want these things right?!?

There’s only one problem. Customers HATE being led into traps and become immediately resistant once they realize they are (which takes about 0.0002 seconds). More on this critical concept in the video below.

2. Succumbing to the “Pain & Pitch”

As Salespeople, we have products and services that solve problems for our customers. And when we go into the Discovery conversations with our customers we look for those problems because it’s the pain that’s ultimately going to motivate the customer to take action. But sometimes when our customer opens up to us about the fact that they have a problem that we can solve and we get so excited that we immediately launch into a product pitch! This is what I call the “pain and pitch”, and jumping into solution mode too quickly may cause you to miss some critical discovery insights!

More on the second of these traps and how to avoid it in the video below.


3. Not Realizing That HOW You Ask is Just as Important as WHAT

When it comes to Discovery one of the biggest things that buyers hate is what I call the polite interrogation. That’s where they feel you’re working down your prepared list of questions and just hitting them with them one-by-one. But sometimes making your customers feel comfortable answering those questions is less about the questions themselves and more about the tone and pacing of your delivery. Three helpful tips to make your questions more engaging:

  1. Reference earlier insights: mentioning something the customer said earlier in the conversation demonstrates you cared enough about them to listen!
  2. Slow down: not rushing through the question makes your customer feel like you were crafting on it the fly just for them.
  3. Showcase your curiosity: prefacing your question with “I’m curious…” or “Just out of curiosity…” tells the customer you weren’t planning to ask that question but did so out of a genuine interest in their business.

For more insight into HOW to ask your questions for maximum impact, watch the short video below.

Bonus Training Video: Do Better Discovery By Being a “Question Barista” (i.e. focus on HOW you ask)

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