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Payroll Sales Pro Issue #29-Effective Discovery Questions
August 15, 2016

August 15, 2016

Posing effective Discovery questions can be the difference between a sale and no sale. To solve your client’s problem, you must first find out where their pain points lie to then formulate a solution which will help them.

“You don't close a sale; you open a relationship if you want to build a long-term, successful enterprise.” – Patricia Fripp

Payroll Talking Points-Effective Discovery Questions

Before you start your pitch, you need to know what your customer wants and why they want it. So after a brief explanation of what you do, you need to start asking questions to discover not only what they want but also what will motivate them to change.

As you begin your discussion, it’s important to start with general, open-ended questions. What are open-ended questions? Questions that cannot be answered with a “yes” or a “no” or a specific piece of information.

Although you will need to ask a few, specific closed-ended questions in order to generate a payroll quote, most of your questions should be open-ended. You can avoid asking too many closed-ended questions by writing out questions ahead of time and evaluating them. Notice that with just a little editing most closed ended questions can become open ended questions:

Closed-ended: Do you like your present payroll vendor?

Same question asked as open-ended: Can you describe your experience with your current payroll vendor?

As you go through your questions, try to be conversational. If you ask the questions one after the other it can make a discovery sound like an interrogation, which will do little to build rapport with your client.

More questions to ask your client could include:

1. Why did you make the decision to go in-house for payroll? Or if they have a payroll service, why?

2. What is your biggest challenge when it comes to the way you pay people now?

Once you are armed with some information you can use to help them see the value in switching payroll companies, you will need to collect some information with specific answers. The two most important pieces of information you will need to generate a payroll quote are:

1. How many employees do you have?

2. What is your payroll frequency? (ie: weekly, biweekly, semi-monthly, monthly, etc.)

Although it’s important to get these specific pieces of information, and getting the information from the closed-ended questions from above can be invaluable in helping formulate a successful sales strategy, let the conversation unfold naturally.

For example, if you ask a question but your client starts talking on and on about things that are off topic, don’t stop him. It’s important to let them talk for two reasons:

1. They may give you valuable insight into what would convince them to buy. For instance, if you ask about which states your client needs to file taxes in and they start to go on and on about an IRS audit that was a huge pain in the neck to deal with and after a lot of time and aggravation it was discovered that your client did nothing wrong, you have an invaluable piece of intel.

Instead of telling him right away that when you use a payroll service, their customer service rep is often the one who deal directly with the IRS or the state when compliance questions arise, save that point for later when it’s time to close.

2. In Dale Carnegie’s classic, “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, Carnegie tells us that people have a more positive impression of you if, in the initial meeting, they do most of the talking. People love themselves and love to talk about themselves. When they brag, they feel good about their accomplishments and when they tell you their problems it has a therapeutic effect on them.

Establishing a positive rapport with your client, asking open-ended questions, being an attentive listener to his issues, and then presenting a solution to any problems you have uncovered will help you win the sale and create a lasting relationship.


All it takes to refer payroll is to obtain a payroll invoice from the client, then send it to us and we’ll take it from there. When the client signs up with payroll, you get paid a residual commission for the life of the client.

Remember, PayPros can typically save them 20-25% over what they are currently paying and they will get a dedicated customer service rep that really knows them and the ins and outs of their business.

Ask them for a current invoice, send it to us, and when it closes you get residual commission for the life of the client.

For more detailed payroll Talking Points tips and information, see Payroll Tips and Techniques


Think you’re ready to earn Residual Commission for the life of your clients as a Payroll Referral Rep? Contact us by calling (888) 693-4611 or filling out the form at Best Business Payroll--How to Make Residual Commission

We’ll be glad to answer any questions you may have and look forward to helping you become successful in any way we can.


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