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Follow-up Questions are Key

2 min readJune 29, 2021

There are no right answers to questions that are never asked.

It’s like the old basketball adage: You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.

It’s been said that 90% of getting the right answer is asking the right question.

I’m going to modify that statement to make it more precisely applicable to sellers.

100% of getting the right answer is asking the right follow-up questions.

100% of understanding the right answer is asking the right follow-up questions.

Yes, all sellers have their lists of favorite discovery questions. Questions that have been asked a million times.

Assuming that the seller has done a decent job of earning some trust with the buyer, then those scripted questions will yield about 90% of the discovery information you need.

However, it’s that missing 10% that makes all the difference. That 10% is the difference between knowing something about the buyer’s needs and truly understanding the buyer and their most important requirements.

Understanding is where you learn whether you have a truly qualified prospect. Understanding is where you really learn what’s driving the buying decision.

Great follow-up questions uncover where the gold is buried.

Two examples of great follow up questions include:

  1. “Interesting. Tell me more about that.” Ok, it’s not really a question. It’s more of a request. You’re saying ‘We’ve just scratched the surface on this topic. I’m sure we can explore this further. Tell me more.’
  2. “Interesting. What else can you tell me about this?” This is where you signal the buyer that you sort of understand what they’re saying. However, clearly, there is more information they have to share about the topic to clarify your understanding.

So make sure you don’t hurry through discovery. Don’t be in such a rush that you close yourself off to the possibility of asking the great follow-up question.

Great follow-up questions can put you on the winning path because you’re showing a level of interest in truly understanding your buyer and their concerns that your competitors haven’t.

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