What Discovery Means Now

I am working on my third book right now, and I am spending time jotting down my notes about The Commitment to Explore Change and what “discovery” now means as it pertains to sales.

First, in The Lost Art of Closing: Winning the 10 Commitments That Drive Sales, I don’t think I did a good enough job explaining the shift from our discovering something about the client through asking questions to help the client discover something about themselves and their business. This is such a dramatic shift that I believe it deserves much more attention than I gave it. I am going to remedy this, and I am going to be very prescriptive like I was in The Lost Art of Closing.

Second, I haven’t ever shared my evolving view about discovery and the process of change. My views have undergone a radical change, and I am clearer on how much our success in helping others produce results is subject to all kinds of factors.

We spend so much time getting relatively few people’s opinions without spending enough time with people who are going to be affected by the change that we are recommending. Because we have focused on acquiring the view of a few people, we have a very limited view.

We spend too little time actually exploring and building an understanding of what our client is doing and why they are struggling. We are too focused on selling our solution, hen more often than not, there are real changes the client must make to produce the results they need. We are negligent in not trying to understand the root cause of their issues, and that is often what is really necessary for producing the result they need.

Look at a deal you are working on now and tell me how much work you have done to understand their competitive strategy and measured it against what is going on in the world right now. I am not suggesting you do a full SWOT analysis on every client, but real discovery means getting a fuller picture of where they are now and whether or not they are keeping pace or lagging behind the constant, accelerating, disruptive change that is the new normal.

What about the company’s culture? What impact is this going to have on the ability to produce the results the client needs? Right now, I am watching a company with a fear-driven culture where failure and mistakes are punished, and where there is no candor. It is imploding before my eyes, and the culture is so pervasive that it is preventing the company from saving itself.

Yesterday on The Lost Art of Closing Facebook Mastermind Coaching meeting, I shared some of the lenses I use to view individuals and companies. There was a very high level of interest in this discussion, mostly because I don’t often share these lenses, and when I do, it’s usually in a workshop, and I don’t go very deep. This has convinced me to do the work to share this more widely, and it is going to make its way into my third book, which is tentatively titled: The Competitive Displacement Playbook (even though I won’t get to name the book).

Think deeply about what you are discovering and helping others discover. See if you can broaden your perspective and identify the real obstacle to change.

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