The Counselor Salesperson: Turbocharging Discovery Agreements
The Process of Co-Creation
Mastering and using new skills is best achieved when they are reinforced and applied. Turbocharging Discovery Agreements is a unique half-day workshop designed specifically for graduates of The Counselor Salesperson. This practical, hands-on workshop helps salespeople deepen their understanding and strengthen their ability to better apply the critical Discovery and Discovery Agreement skills that are the foundation of the Counselor Approach. The program is intended for business-to-business salespeople and their managers. The workshop is a result of several years of intensive consulting by Senior Consultant Bob Davis with client sales organizations that needed to refresh, strengthen, and advance the power of their Discovery Agreements. The session has become a "best practice" with numerous sales teams in many industries.
As explained in The Counselor Salesperson, the purpose of Discovery is to help each customer articulate his or her vision of value. The corresponding Discovery Agreement(s) is the tool to document and integrate these visions into a complete picture and road map for the client and the salesperson.
Focus on Co-Creating a Vision of Value
In the workshop, salespeople learn that creating value in the eyes of the customer requires more than pointing out the advantages or benefits of a product or service. It is a co-creative process of "peeling the onion" to uncover what is important to several key people in the customer's organization. The value is defined through smaller to larger insights as the salesperson engages each customer contact in a problem-solving Discovery dialogue about his or her piece of the puzzle. The process of defining value occurs from the first step at "hello" to the last step at "the deal."
Not All Business Letters Have the Same Value
The right communication is essential. Participants are introduced to the four kinds of business letters—thank-you letters, responses to requests, commitment letters, and Discovery Agreements—and shown that all are not created equal. While each communication is good for something, only a Discovery Agreement articulates the customer's vision of value. But not all Discovery Agreements are equal either. The least effective stops at the "feature" level, while the most effective articulates the customer's vision of value at the application and business issue level. Participants review a set of criteria and a template for a model Discovery Agreement.
The core of the program consists of two key exercises in which participants examine and work on their own Discovery Agreements. In the first exercise, they realize that their favorite Discovery questions do not create a vision of value in the customer's eyes. In the second exercise, they ascertain that their own Discovery Agreements are often no more than thank-you letters or meeting summaries that have little power for accelerating the sales cycle or articulating the customer's vision of value.
Through these self-critique exercises, participants come to see that their current Discovery skills uncover only part of what is important to the customer. Through these exercises and application activities focused on real customers, participants learn how to ask better questions and write stronger Discovery Agreements that connect with customer value at deeper levels and demonstrate business impact.
Salespeople learn how to strengthen their Discovery skills to differentiate themselves as trusted advisors and ultimately close more business.