It’s not always easy to get the answers we want during our diagnosis call. Whether the client doesn’t feel comfortable initially, we didn’t ask the question properly, or they simply haven’t thought about their business thoroughly enough, we sometimes hit a roadblock to a question we need definitively answered.

When this happens, it’s tempting to get discouraged and give up on getting an answer. But you won’t if you’re always prepared with two to three different questions to obtain the same information.

For example, you’ve done your due diligence before the call—been to the company’s website, scoured all their social media, maybe even seen them on competitors’ platforms. Yet, you’ve been unable to uncover the prospect’s USP. So, you’re in the diagnosis call and ask, “What makes you unique—why would I choose to do business with you instead of your other three competitors?”

The client pauses, and then dejectedly responds with, “Hmm, that’s a tough question. I can’t say we really do anything that makes us that different.”

Like any good rep, you dig deeper, referencing something you saw on the client’s website or mentioning something their competitor does. But, and I’ve experienced this many times myself, it’s still not enough to get them talking.

At this point, there’s no point in pushing them for an answer. The better tactic is to move on to other questions but make a note to come back to this in a different way later. As the conversation continues, you build credibility and will earn the opportunity to ask different types of questions that the prospect may have been hesitant to answer if asked earlier. The simple “What makes you unique” can now be re-phrased as,

“So Mr./Mrs. ABC Auto owner, if I asked 50 of your most loyal customers in this city why they chose to get their car fixed by ABC Auto, what types of things would they say?”


“You’ve been in business for 10 years, what would you say is the single largest misconception people have about your industry and what are you doing to remedy that?”

All we’re doing here is indirectly getting to the same place we attempted to reach before. They’re still USP questions—they’re just framed differently and feel different to the business owner.

It’s smart to be prepared with two to three different questions to uncover one answer for all of the important areas of the prospect’s business: Advertising, Competition, Core Customer, Challenges, Goals, and Distinctions. That way, you won’t get discouraged when you run into a “roadblock” to a question because you’ll know it’s only temporary.


Margie Chilson is a Senior Marketing Consultant for

Her vast experience includes nearly three decades in broadcast television and digital sales marketing, working in and with multiple markets and affiliations including Dallas-Fort Worth at WFAA, Denver at KUSA-KTVD, KMGH, KWGN, and as a team manager at Millennium Television Sales.

Margie’s years as a local seller were award-winning and inspiration for her jump to She exceeded new business and digital goals on a consistent basis at Belo Corp., Scripps, Tribune, and TEGNA Inc. stations. A true innovator, Margie pioneered job-sharing positions in Dallas and Denver, balancing hectic work schedules and family, paving the way for working parents with careers in media sales.

Margie is well known and respected for her diligence, drive, and new business results. Due to her years in the business as an account executive and sales leader, she knows the station environment well and can easily relate to local sellers as well as the most senior managers.

An alum of Oklahoma State University who graduated with Honors in Journalism Advertising, Margie boasts an outstanding track record of helping business owners strategically grow their revenue through broadcast, streaming and digital solutions.

Margie and her husband Tim have been married for 23 years. The couple and their two children live in Littleton, CO, a suburb of Denver. Their son, Ryan, attends the University of Colorado Boulder, and their daughter, Mary, is in high school.  In their spare time, the Chilsons enjoy travel, hiking in the picturesque Rocky Mountains, cooking, watching movies, and cheering on their kids in various sporting events.