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Mastering Discovery Sessions: My Refined Approach and Key Questions

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If you’ve been following my journey for some time, you’ll be aware that I’ve been refining my approach to discovery sessions. My current approach includes:

  • Gathering notes from the BDM (Business Development Manager).
  • Transferring these notes into an on-boarding document.
  • Sorting notes into their respective sections.
  • Researching the company and updating the on-boarding document.
  • Researching the attendee and further updating the on-boarding document.
  • Outlining my goals for the session.
  • Formulating my opening questions.

I usually commence the meeting by clarifying my intentions. Typically, I aim to:

  1. Ascertain if we have a feasible solution to provide.
  2. Determine the best way to present a tailored demonstration.
  3. Establish the business case.

Subsequently, I always ensure I pose the question:

“What are you hoping to achieve in this session?”

Then, I proceed with my initial question. Nowadays, my opening question greatly varies, especially based on the insights from the qualification session. For instance, in one of today’s qualification notes, the BDM informed me that a client had turned down another provider simply because they didn’t like them. The client highlighted that their top three considerations are:

  1. Whether they like us.
  2. Whether our features meet their needs.
  3. The appropriateness of our pricing.

Given this feedback, my opening question is:

 “What do you look for in a partner?”

I opted for this question because it’s clear that the client’s affinity towards us is paramount. My hope is that after addressing this initial query, I’ll have a clearer understanding of the client’s preferences in partnerships.

For easy reference during meetings, I have drafted my objectives and questions on a ‘cheat sheet.’ And I remind myself to inquire:

“What do you wish to gain from this session?”

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