Healthcare consultations skills: The 4 goals of a good discovery
In our healthcare consultations skills and teamwork training, we spend a lot of time discussing the discovery. For a little context, here is where we are in our ideal sales process so far.
The discovery, is the part of the consultation where we ask questions about the prospects experiences that led them to identifying there is a problem to solve. We ask them about their past experiences, aiming to reveal their pain. We ask them about their future aims, in order to reveal their hopes for gain. We do this to identify their dominant buying motive, so that we can earn the right to recommend a solution that will solve their problem.
During the discovery, we also identify any concerns that concerns (objections) they may have regarding alternative solutions, the criteria they have defined, that must be met before they feel comfortable making a buying decision, and the intended timing of their decision, should we be able to offer a solution that checks all the boxes.
But even more important than asking questions, is listening to our prospects answers. Here are the 4 goals of a good discovery stage of a consultation:
1. To find out the customer’s deeper buying motives.We need to find out what our prospects do for fun and work, what their problems are, but more importantly, why the resolution of that problem is important to them. We must uncover so that we can offer a solution, through our service or product.
2. To uncover objections. Just finding out our prospect’s needs, discovering why they would have our product or service is never enough to make a sale. We need to discover, why they may not purchase. Unfortunately, many practitioners forget this all-important point. We get excited because we find a great buying motive, or hot button, but we don’t realise until the end of the consultation that the prospect is buying a house, or the kids are going to college, or perhaps they’re moving to Spain.
If we don’t uncover this information in the discovery, we can tell our prospect’s third party stories and do the necessary trial closes to overcome their particular situation or objection. Therefore, the second goal of a good discovery to ask the right questions, so as to uncover possible objections while there is still time to eliminate them.
3. To elicit trust. Consider what it feels to be listened to for ten, fifteen or twenty minutes? Listening to someone else’s dreams, hopes, fears and fantasies is perhaps the most validating thing we can do for another human being.
All too often we cut people off or we interrupt, we never really listen to what is important to them. It’s for that reason, why I can never understand why a clinician would just throw down the patient information sheet and ask their prospects to fill it out while they just walked outside. After all, if we do that, how will we ever get inside of them emotionally if they’re just giving us hand-written responses?
4. To figure out through a series of questions, what products we will be offering our prospects that will suit their particular needs. By narrowing down the prospect’s focus on a particular product or set of options, we eliminate discussions on other products or services that would be of no interest to them, thereby shortening the length of the consultation.
I think we can all agree that listening is the most important part of any consultation, and it is in the discovery that we listen and ask questions.
Question: If listening and asking questions are the most important part of any consultation, what are the most important questions to ask a prospect in order to ensure a sale? What are those questions that we need to ask in every single consultation? Take a minute and write them down.