Armand Farrokh
March 8, 2024

Most sellers spend 75% of discovery asking process questions like "how do you do this today" or "walk me through your current process."

Prospects hate these questions because they know all the answers and they're purely bringing you up to speed.

In the world of Gap Selling, Keenan flips these garbage questions on their head.  Those questions should be asked LAST after you've found a problem worth solving:

  • Problem: Figure out what sucks.
  • Impact: Figure out if that problem is even worth solving.
  • Root Cause: Then figure out what's causing it LAST.

Put these 3 things together and you have a Problem Identification Chart. Let's break it down using a real example that Nick and I use when we're selling sponsorships for 30 Minutes to President's Club:

Screenshot 2024-03-04 at 10.09.37 AM

Problem: Figure out what sucks

A doctor doesn't start every single appointment with a full-body physical: they start with the symptoms that suck.

Sure, the NP does the basics like checking your weight and blood pressure to make sure there's no radical change, but then the doctor is rated on diagnosis efficiency. Why are you here, is it something you should be concerned about, and what should you do?

But if a mediocre seller was a doctor, they would start every appointment with a full-body physical, even if someone came in for Pneumonia.

When Nick and I enter a discovery call, there are a series of common problems we know sales tech companies have. In simple terms, they look like this:

  • General Awareness: People don't know you exist.
  • Product Awareness: People think you only do 1 thing when you do 3 things.
  • Demand Generation: You don't have enough pipeline

We don't start by asking about every single sponsorship they have today, how they're running awareness campaigns right now, or what their marketing budget consists of... because none of those things matter until they've shared a problem.

We'll cover different questions you can ask to uncover these problems next week. But for now, know that the easiest way to uncover these problems is to simply ask why they took the call. Even if you outbounded them... there is some reason they took the call.

Impact: Figure out if it's worth solving

Let's say we landed on the problem of "sales teams don't know who you are" -- who cares if no one knows who you are if you're crushing your revenue targets and only need a few enterprise deals to hit your goal?

This brings us to impact. Who cares if sales teams don't know who you are?

  • Are you trying to steal market share but losing deals to competitors?
  • Are prospects buying other solutions without even considering you?
  • Are those things leading to flatlined growth or missed revenue goals?

Again, none of your current investments in marketing matter yet. Because if those investments are getting you what you need, who the heck cares?

But let's say that they tell us they're losing deals to competitors. Now we can start to unpack why that impact is actually happening as an advisor.

Root Cause: Figure out what's causing it

Keenan burnt this into my brain: industry expertise is massively underrated in sales.

When we find out that someone is losing market share to competitors, it's our job to educate them on what might be causing the problem.

This is when we can finally dig into their current brand awareness strategy. We need to figure out:

  • Are you investing in brand awareness at all or are you just running pay-per-click ads that get minimal reach?
  • Or are you investing in brand awareness, sponsorships, and content... but none of that stuff is converting?

Once we narrow down the root cause, we can start to offer suggestions on where they can invest or recommendations to improve their content. And that gives us the opportunity to explain how we can help fix the problem.


And if you're wondering what questions you can ask to uncover all of this stuff in a way that feels natural, we've got you covered.

This was all about what to look for in discovery. Next week, we're covering how to ask great discovery questions to get it all. But in the meantime, check out Keenan's episodes on 30 Minutes to President's Club if you liked this (Episode 1 and Episode 2).

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