The Audible-Ready Sales Podcast
The Audible-Ready Sales Podcast

Episode · 2 years ago

05. Playing Back Your Sales Discovery Sessions w/ John Kaplan


Deals are won or lost in discovery.

A key part to successful discovery is the salesperson’s ability to articulate what they learned in discovery back to the customer. We call it playing back “What We Heard”.

In this podcast, John Kaplan runs through best practices for using this information to your advantage, including:

  • How it helps you overcome seller deficit disorder
  • How to deal with sounding too repetitive
  • How to use your customer to help you play back negative information

Check out this and other episodes of The Audible-Ready Podcast at Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or our website.


Additional Resources: 

It's about them. The positives, outcomes required, capabilities in the but tricks are about them and their involvement means they're interested in and they own it, and lack of involvement means the opposite. It means you're in trouble on your deal. You're listening to the audible ready podcast, the show that helps you and your team's sell more faster. Will feat your sales leader sharing their best insights on how to create a sales engine that helps you fuel repeatable revenue growth, presented by the team at force management, a leader in vtb sales effectiveness. Let's get started. Hello and welcome to the audible ready podcast by force management. I'm Rachel Clip Miller with force management. I'm joined today by our very own John Kaplan. Good Morning Ry, so great to be here yes, John. I'm excited about today's topic. It's going to be a big one for those of you listening who have had command of the message, but if you have it, it's still great skill for any sales person to have. We're talking about recapping the what we heard information or, for those of you who aren't familiar with command of the message, it's really replaying your discovery sessions. Yeah, you know, I think this is a big one, a really, really relevant topic, and really what we're talking about is summarizing the discovery you've dumb up until this point in the sales process and using that summary to your advantage. And there's two kind of name case use cases. Number one is the kind of use it to start a meeting, to ground everyone on what you know and what you don't know, and number two, you use it to kind of recap the meeting and push to the next step. So those are the two use cases we're going to talk about. And now what we heard is a way for you to continuously fill up those three things you need on every day. We say it repeatedly on the PODCAST and our content on our website, intertratings. It's positive as is outcomes, it's required capabilities and metrics. Yeah, you know, I think it's sellers.

Were always trying to kind of simplify our sales motion and this is a really, really good way to think about simplifying your sales motion. So why you're talking to a customer and discovery. You have to fill up three buckets. During discovery you have to fill up the positive business outcome to require capabilities of metrics. Rachel, we have tons of PODCASTS, we have tons of content on why those three things are so critical, why you have to have those buckets filled up before you turn and talk about yourself. You can't sell anything until you have these things. So you know, we start meetings with this, with this concept, we wrap up meetings with this concept, and just a little kind of refresher is pedos require capabilities and metrics. They can change or more or at any time throughout the sale cycle and so you have to be on the lookout for when these things change. So you got to be on the lookout for what changes and why they change. This is why it's just kind of a simple concept for me. So if a required capability has changed, is that because there's a new competitor involved? And if there's if has a positive business outcome, better, bigger positive business outcome been established, because you know we're speaking to someone with more power and influence, and so these things can morphin change throughout the sale cycle and I think the simple motion is is that, whether we're starting a meeting or were recapping and meeting, we're always focused on those three critical buckets of positiveusness outcomes require capabilities and metrics right. They give you that grounding foundation to signal what is important to different influential decision makers in the deal and ground the conversation. So what are your best practices with recapping this? I mean it's one thing to get that information right with great discovery questions and having great, yeah, sales conversations to get...

...that information. The PV has required capabilities and metrics, but we're really talking about here today is then how do you play it play it back? So give us some best practices with using them, either at the start of meetings or recapping. Yeah, you know, if I just step back for a moment, like why are we be doing this? You know, why do we talk about positives and outcomes or qui capabilities and metrics, and why do we make this kind of foundation of everything that we're doing when we're having sales conversations? We got to remember that survey that they've been doing for the last fifty years and they the result is come back the exact same for the last five decades. We believe there're thousands of years old. So you'll hear are sometimes over doing trainings. You'll hear a say it's he just old. Well, what they surveyed was they asked buyers of goods and services about sellers and they said, what are some of the challenges that you have with sellers? And for fifty years it's come back the same. Number one is they don't believe that we understand their business. They fundamentally don't believe that we understand their business. And number two is they don't believe we listen very well. And so these are what we call the sellar deficit disorder and racially we got great content on the cellar defersit disorder. You might attach it here, you know, in the podcast, but if you think about that, that's what you're dealing with every time you have a conversation with a customer, whether you're first starting with the customer or whether you're recapping some conversation. So some best practices is we use it, we and we suggest you you use it at the top of every sales called with every person you open up with. Okay, so today we're going to be focusing on three main things and so we can talk about positiveusness outcomes, the things that are required in order for you to achieve those positive business outcomes and how you're going to measure success. You can recap and I call the ultimate sormation. So what we've heard you talk about..., Mr Ms Customer, of these the positive business outcomes that you identified. Here are the required capabilities that you talked about, and hear the things that you said you were going to measure success. Now what have we just done here? The positive business outcomes, I am understanding their business, which is attacking the cellar deficit disorder head on, and what we heard you say, Mr Mrs Customer, attacks the fact that, whether or not we've listened or not. So the real big point that we want to make here is that by just using those simple concepts, you are attacking something that has been in place for thousands of years. Customer doesn't believe you understand their business or have any intent to understand their business, and they don't believe that you listen very well. So you should use it an email communication, you should use it in phone conversation and wrapping up a phone conversation in a tip for managers is roleplay this. So how you going to open up these calls? How are you going to do an ultimate insummation at the end of the call. Let me see your email communication with your customer that you're going to send back. It should be about the positiveness. Outcomes require, capabilities and metrics. It's not as hard concept. It is filling up three buckets and the process of filling up three buckets and I think managers, you can do a really, really good favor for your learning and skill set for your sellers will play it with them. Yeah, I think the this concept, as you said, every time you share it you are reminding them that you are a trusted advisor, that you have a vested interest in them solving their problem, but you understand their business because you keep reiterating the bullets that they told you right this this is why we could what we heard. One of the pushbacks. I know that we often hear from reps who use this at the start of every call that they feel like it's too repetitive. I'm starting every call,...

...and you know we're doing a lot of calls to move opportunities forward, and that they feel that it's too it's saying the same thing over and over again. It's too repetitive, especially when they've got busy executives on the phone. What it would what do you say to that? It's such a really, really good point in it's real. So I actually had an executive faith in me one time when I was repeating the positives, outcomes, required capabilities and metrics, which is really kind of like Hey, what we heard? And it was like the third meeting with this executive and the executive interrupted me and said yes, John, they're still the same, and it was with a little bit of an attitude or a little bit of frustration. So I could send so I could sense that they were a little frustrated and then I explain to them what I was doing. You know, the reason why I'm repeating this because if we agree on the positiveness, outcomes of car capabilities in the metrics, we kind of ensure that we're going to be aligned on this this conversation, and also we use this to look for if something's change that we need to be aware of. We just don't want to assume that nothing's changing in your dynamic environment. And then for us a force management, this is a true stories. Is exactly how I said it. I said, you know, this is exactly what we're going to teach your sellers to do. And so later on, after we got the deal after we begin to implement, you know, command of the message. At this this very, very great and great customer of ours, since been a customer for a long, long time, this executive got up on the stage and actually told the story, told the story about the what we heard, and it was amazing because what they said was what we realized was these people at force management were walk, we're walking audition for what we were going to get, and I've never ever forgotten that. It's you know. So for me it's not always as much about what you sell. Sometimes how you sell can be just as important...

...and I'll never ever forget that. So keep that and, you know, an especial as the place in your heart if you feel frustration and somebody's like, you know, why are we repeating these? It's still the same. Just be outent to call it out and say, Hey, I think I'm frustrating me a little bit. I'm sorry, I'm not intending to. This is why we go over these. We're looking for any changes, we're looking for alignment. Just be authentic. One of the things I know that even our reps sometimes do is they this is a the third call or fourth call and it's when the what we heard slide comes up, they'll have an actual the customer review it, rather than them say love that you have the custom I love that. You know like that. The championshould own the positiveness. Outcomes require capabilities and metrics and as you're progressing in a in an opportunity, you should actually ask yourself if I don't have anybody inside the company who could say these, if I wasn't here, then that's the problem, because that means it's all about us, about about them. That's a big problem. Yeah, and and throwing throwing the slide up or reviewing these information is a great way that, as you said, gain insight and how your deal is progressing. Well, we haven't talked about is when you hear silence. So you throw it up there and there's silence, and you got to get people to participate in the process. A lot of times I'll be on these calls and be like hey, this is what we've heard so far, and people are just kind of giving you the mad they're like Yep, Yep, and you've got to make that interactive. You've got to you know, you got a call on people. You you you got to get people involved, because it's about them. The positives, outcomes require capabilities in the metrics are about them and their involvement means they're interested in and they own it, and lack of involvement means the opposite. It means you're in trouble on your deal. And I think also, you know, we talked about digging deep and finding...

...the problems that they can't go another day without being six and those are the kind of problems that you want to be solving as a salesperson. But you also want to remember, especially on the what we heard, you're pointing out challenges, that they're having a problem. So you really want to take care in communicating them. Great. So this is such a good point because you've got to be conscious of being judgmental or acting as if, you know, you're kind of airing their dirty laundry without earning the right. So you got to use phrases like Hey, we've talked about this and or you shared this with us. Versus, I've seen people like just kind of it's like a new story. You know you're reporting on the problem. So your deport your department sucks there in the hot seat. You know and you know nobody likes you and your performance sucks and you can't be accusatory. So you should practice it with a peer, sit with your boss, recap the what we heard and paint the pictures. If this is what the knowledge is that you gain by interacting with people at the account and again, it will attack that fellar deficit disorder. You understand our business and you've listened off. Another tactic you can use too, is it remember that most likely the problem that you're solving with that particular customer is a problem that you've solved over and over again with other companies. So a good thing maybe to include on the bullets or Exas and what you say is to remind them that, hey, you're having this challenge is a lot of other companies in your space have this same challenge. You're not alone. Just Stop the love that rage. That's a great point. Love it. They don't just suck. Everybody sucks. That's, you know, right, right. I think this dirty air in the dirty laundry and talking about those negative consequences or challenges that they're having. It's important, you know, when you're delivering the message, to soften the blow a little bit, but also pay attention to those emails that you're writing as you're wrapping...

...up calls. We talked about how you can use the what we heard or recap a call throw it at an email to push for next steps. We do that a lot here force management. But remember that email is probably going to get forwarded to people who might not have been in the conversation, who might not have heard you deliver the message. So you really want to look at those bullets and think about how they might come across. So you might want to throw some extra language in those bullets to make sure you're not just sending an email recapping the call with twelve challenges that they need to fix or they're going to go under. Yeah, that's really really good point. Right. So you're making better points on this topic that I am. Next week we're switching I'm interviewing you. Well done. Well, this is important topic. I know that I've even looked at emails of our own salespeople and kind of help them soften up some stuff. Yeah, so, and I know this concept is something that comes up a lot even after our trainings, and that tool is is really powerful because, if you think about it, a lot of the problems that are customers help their clients solve. Like the salespeople we work with, they're solving really complex issues and the people that own those are usually kind of drowning and they don't know how to get out of their own way. Sometimes they can't see the force through the trees that don't even know how to fix it. So the power that you bring as a salesperson to whittle that down into a what we heard slide that's really clear with positive business outcomes, required capabilities and metrics, like here's what you need to do to solve that is really powerful and that's why we're so passionate about the slide called what we heard. Yeah, it's, you know, to path to success. I think it gives people the hope that if they work with you, that you're going to take them to a place that they couldn't get to on their own. And I knew that, like when I'm buying something, I tend to navigate to or, you know, to to move towards people that I feel I'm more comfortable, that they have a pass to my success...

...and in it's all really about simplifying the you know, the selling process for the seller, but also the buying process for the buyer. Really really good points. So I as you're at the conversation up, I think we should just bring it back to discovery and remember that making that what we heard, work for you requires the discovery. Mean, if you want to have good bullets on that side, you need to have great discovery and you can't rush it. You can't do it in fifteen minutes. Yeah, you know, I think people ask me this all the time, right. So they're like, how long should a sales called Pake? And really what they're asking me is, do you expect me to do all of that an x amount of time? And so I really want to kind of give people some peace on this subject. I'm not saying that you have to get positiveness, outcomes require capabilities and metrics on a single call. What I am saying definitively is you can't sell anybody anything until you have those buckets filled up. So you need to tell me, because if you're BEDR and st are, you're an insight seller. That's typically why these questions come up, like how much time do you really expect that I'm going to get for discovery? And I think customers will give you as much time as you learn, and so for me it really depends on how long it takes you to build the mantra of positivists, outcomes required, capabilities and metrics. I never say that all of this has to be done in one call, but what I do say is that why you're on the phone or why you're in front of a customer facetoface. Whatever you do, you should build in a natural balance of listening through discovery and then earning the right to tell them about you and your value. So if you had a half hour scheduled, it's probably fifteen and fifteen. If you had an hour schedule, that's probably thirty and thirty. The point being is,...

...however much time you get, you've got them Banki first and foremost, you got to fill up the three buckets. If you can't fill them up all in one call, that doesn't matter. Don't worry about trying to do everything at once. Worry about doing really, really good, quality discovery which earns the right for you to attach your value of how you do it, how you do it differently or better, to something that they really, really care about. So don't get hung up on the time. I know it's a tough one for insight cellers and fbrs that are the kind of feeling like, well, we're dialing for dollars, and I don't want to feel like you're dialing for dollars. You're dialing for the exact same thing that the enterprise were up as dialing for. You're dialing to attach your value to a problem that exists. How much time you have and how you go about doing that, they are reason all different environments. Focus on the process of building out those buckets and you'll be really, really good to go. You'll get more time because you've earned it. Great. Thank you so much. I feel like I should wrap up this conversation by saying what I heard was but we but thank you all to listen, for listening. John mentioned our condo that we have are on the cellar deficit disorder and overcoming that perception that you don't listen, you don't understand your prospects business. I'm going to go ahead and link some of that into the show notes, so go ahead and check that out and thank you. Thank you for listening to our podcasts. More to come, awesome. Go get them. At force management, we're focused on transforming sales organizations into elite teams. Are Proven methodologies deliver programs that build company alignment and fuel repeatable revenue growth. Give your teams the ability to execute the growth strategy at the point of sale. Our strength is our experience. The proof is in our results. Let's get started. Visit US at force MANAGEMENTCOM.

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