Each genre of Exploratory questioning plays its own unique role in revealing customers' needs so that we can develop valuable and differentiated solutions. The third type of Exploratory question taught in DPS Sales Training is Realization questions.

The primary purpose of Realization questions is to reveal if there is an opportunity to meet an unmet need for the customer. If executed properly, Realization questions flow comfortably in response to information uncovered with Focusing questions, and prompt the customer to share his/her current reality relative to their ideal situation. This process effectively reveals the customer's gap and, in the best scenario, prompts the customer to realize his/her own gap.

Here are examples of effective Realization questions:

  1. Are you on track to meet your goals?
  2. To what degree are the measures you have in place for [maximum efficiency] working?
  3. Are you where you need to be?
  4. Where are you in this process?
  5. Are your critical needs being totally realized or is there a gap between the results you need and the results you're getting?

The greatest benefit of Realization questions is having customers recognize their own gaps. If we skip the Realization step, customers may not fully identify with the gaps we identify; or worse, they may feel manipulated when we identify gaps based on our own perspective. When this happens, we seriously compromise our ability to develop and present winning solutions.