Critical Dates have two components: The actual date and the driving force.
In response to a discovery question from you, your prospect says, “We need a solution in place by July 15…”
Your next question should be, “I understand… Please tell me why July 15 is important? What is driving the need to have a solution in place by then?
“Oh!” replies your prospect, “Our contract with our current vendor expires on July 15 and we need to replace them…”
Now you have the date and the driving force. Next? A subtlety:
“I see,” you respond, “Do you want to run the two systems in parallel for a couple of weeks before switching over?”
“Yes – excellent point! Let’s plan to have your system ready to go by July 1…”
Congratulations: Now you have your prospect’s real Critical Date information.
And remember: A Critical Date is the prospect’s Critical Date, not your end of quarter!
You can learn more about Critical Dates and other intriguing discovery concepts and skills in Doing Discovery.