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

Episode · 2 years ago

27. Our Most FAQs from Salespeople w/ John Kaplan


In this episode, we’re taking a step back to cover the most frequently asked questions we get from our customers, the sellers we train, and our listeners. From warming up cold calls and building pipeline to asking trap setting discovery questions, and getting to the economic buyer, John Kaplan covers it all.


Here are a few key insights you’ll want to tune in to hear:


- How sellers can nail their differentiation in discovery and win against tough competition


- How to prepare for your sales calls to warm up cold opportunities


- How to use empathy in sales conversations when asking challenging (or seemingly negative) discovery questions


- How to leverage your champion to earn the approval of the economic buyer


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


Here are some additional resources focused on 


- Getting into an Opportunity Podcast

- Approaching Your Sales Conversations with Empathy Podcast

- Playing Back Sales Discovery Sessions Podcast

- Coaches vs. Champions Podcast

- How to Test Your Champions Podcast

You're not trapping the customer. Let me repeat, you are not trapping the customer. You are trapping the competition and you're trapping the competition around your differentiation. 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 afforce management, a leader in BTB sales effectiveness. Let's get started. Hello and welcome to the audible ready podcast. I'm Rachel Clap Miller, joined today by John Kaplan. Hi John, Hi Rachel, how are you good? I'm doing great. Today we are going to talk about some of the most frequently ask questions that we get from the people we work with, the sellers that we train every day, and a lot of those questions come from the discovery process. So that's where we're going to start today.

John. I'm going to throw you a question here about discovery. The first question is I struggle with getting people to talk badly about their business right these negative concepts, telling me their challenges in a way that's going to help me move an opportunity forward. How do you get comfortable asking questions that are negative in nature? Oh, that's a good one, that's really good. You know, I think the first thing you do is to realize that you are not being negative. So when you're asking questions about challenges, the challenges are negative, you're not being negative. Okay, so all great sellers have empathy, so you have to remember and use that trait when asking questions about challenges. You know what example could be. So this one's been kind of big on my mind. Sample question is low. I know two thousand and twenty has been a difficult year for business in general. What have you been...

...seeing or what are some of the biggest operational adjustments that your company has made, you know, been making during this pandemic? So that normally is empathetic. We're all kind of in the same boat, but I'm looking to I know there's challenges. So I know it's safe water and it's a really, really good way to begin talking about some, you know, difficult challenges. So another thing that you can do is, instead of asking them about their challenges, you can begin by asking them what they like most about their current situation. Some people say, you know, that's crazy, but the human condition we're not built to lie. So we know inherently that there are challenges. So what I find is when I do this and I ask them about what they like most about their current situation ration, they quickly pivot to the negatives or to the challenges, and it happens almost every time. So those...

...are two real good kind of mindset things that you can do is you're not negative, the situations are negative, and then think about maybe just flipping it around and ask them about the positives, about what's going on, and my guess is they're going to quickly pivot to the negatives or the challenges. Couple of good strategies. Yeah, you mentioned asking them what they like about their current situation. Another question. I know if we've given reps uses to say hey, what's working? Really well, Yep, because they will tell you what sport not. Yeah, they will. I also want to remind people we have a podcast where John and I talked about approaching your buyers with empathy and John, you just brought uct that concept. So I will link that podcast in the show notes. You can find it on whatever podcast platform you you listen on. So the other question we get around discovery always has to do with this concept about trap setting questions, and trap setting questions is a term that we use. They are what we call questions you ask in the...

...sales process that trap your competition and they in the answer, the prospect is able to see the importance of maybe our product feature. That's your competition doesn't have a lot of reps struggle with this concept. They struggle with asking these types of question. So I couldn't do frequently ask questions without getting to trap sitting questions. What tips you have around these? Yeah, you know, this is a really another, really good one comes up a lot on on the concept of trap setting in it's another one related to your mindset. So first of all you have to remember you're not trapping the customer. Let me repeat, you are not trapping the customer. You are trapping the competition and you're trapping the competition around your differentiation. So ultimately you're trying to get your differentiation influenced into the customers required capabilities or decision criteria. So trap setting questions...

...take preparation. It's a simple motion. The first thing you do is you think about your differentiation that you'll want to get into the required capabilities or the customers decision criteria. Then what I like to do is just sit with it for a little bit. I like to sit in the seat of the customer and think about what that differentiation will do for them, what problems it will solve for them. Next, I like to think about all the bad things that can happen to that customer if they don't have this differentiation. So once I do that, I just prepare some discovery questions around that scenario. So, the simplest terms, trap setting questions are nothing more than discovery questions with the intent to trap the competition around your differentiator. And it all begins with your differentiators. You should wake up every morning thinking about ways that you can...

...get them into your daily conversation. That's what trap setting questions do. And if you're a command of the message customer, if you've been to your command of message, that's what those questions are on your value framework. Those their guides to help you adapt your current conversation. And you mentioned preparation, John, for preparation, you should look at those questions and just see will they relate to this conversation. You may not ask them, but you can have them, have them at the ready. There's nothing wrong with preparing your line of questioning. I mean you might adapt it, you may not get to everything, but at least you have it there, so you're not sitting there and saying okay and ending a call when the person has more time and you know you didn't get what you need. Yeah, Rachel, let me just piggyback on something you said. If you're not a command of the message customer, I want you to just think about what I just said, the preparation that needs to take place, critical differentiators that you need to think about when... wake up in the morning. What are the best trap and what does that differentiation look like? Why is the value to the customer? Companies owe that to their sellers. So we don't want people waking up in the morning and just kind of making that up for themselves. That doesn't resonate in the market place. You're not going to attract a players. The a players aren't going to stay at that differentiation isn't nailed and you don't provide them with laser focus trap setting question. So I just want to kind of reiterate out there. If you haven't gone through an exercise that says, what problems do we solve for our customers? How specifically do we solve them? How do we solve them differently or better than anybody else? And where have we done it before? You are at risk not only for your value in the marketplace but for your value to elite sellers. They're not going to stay, they're not going to come and they're not going to stay if they're the ones that have to wake up in the morning and try to figure out what those differentiators are,...

...try to figure out what that value proposition is. It's a real critical point right now. Yeah, that's it makes it hard to sell something if you don't understand a differentiation. It's right. Okay. So let's move now to concept of getting to the economic buyer. I know there are people listening right now who are having this challenge. You're in an account. You know there's a big business issue in there that you can solve, but you are stuck into vow of a level. You need to get higher, you need to get broader. How do you get yourself up to an economic make a buyer and get to somebody who has access to budget? Yeah, through I think the first thing Rachel is, it's important to know who the economic buyer is. Most people listening. I don't want to say most people. I want to give you some spirit out there, but if you're really honest with yourself, a lot of us don't know who the economic buyer is on these deals. We don't know if we have a champion on these deals. So you know, we've got tons of content or out that around that, but go sharpen your skills and and sharpen the saw around that. So if I...

...just start with a definition, the economic buyer is the decision maker on an opportunity who represents the ultimate or final yes and has discretionary access to funds. So when we get them involved, really good things happen on our sales campaigns, like bigger and faster deals. So okay, now back to your question. So let's say you know who the economic buyer is and that you need to get to them to be successful. So it's really hard to be successful in this scenario without a champion. And here's how economic buyer and champion concepts go hand in hand. So if I truly have a champion, again definitions, someone with power and influence. They're actively selling on my behalf and they have a vested interest in my success, and then they should have access to the economic buyer and that access should come easier. For you. You have... make sure you have your ducks in a row. You got to equip the champion with the mantra. The positive business outcomes require capabilities and metrics. So you know if, as you say in your question, you know the business issue that you can solve. All you in the champion need to do is attach your solution to it, attach yourself to the biggest business issues, and you do that with the mantra. Yeah, so you mentioned champions. We have a lot of great content and champions. I will also link that in the in the show notes, so be sure to sure to check that out. Let's back it up a little bit. We just talked about getting the ECONIC mcbuyer an now I want to talk about just getting into an opportunity pipeline. There are a lot of reps out there who know they don't have enough pipeline. They're trying to get it. We've talked a lot about getting into an opportunity on some other podcast episodes, but let's expand on that right now. For Reps who might find themselves in a situation. They want to get into an opportunity. Yeah, so we're trying to build pipeline, we're...

...trying to get in an opportuny, opportunities, regardless of world and economic situations. This is a real critical point for companies and for reps right now. It's really pipeline cures all else. Pipeline gives you stronger disposition and negotiation gives you stronger confidence and conviction. So for me it's a really, really critical concept that I know why this questions coming up, but the good news is almost every company on the planet right now is experiencing some kind of change. And when you think about your own company, you know what changes have you experienced? All of our customers needs have changed because their customers needs have changed. So what this means to the sellers? That almost nobody can tell you. We're all set. We're good now again, it's a mindset. So your job is to align yourself to the biggest business issues facing your prospects.

That's the third time I said that today. I want you to wake up every day and make a call sheet. Who Am I going to call today? Why am I going to call them. What am I going to say to them? And use the concept of the three P's you've probably heard US talk about before. Purpose, process, payoff. The purpose of my call is make it warm. Someone told you to call them. You're going to use a reference. I read something about you. Make it warm. Nobody should be cold calling right now. And so then the process. You know, here's what I'd like from you. I want to set up a meeting with you. I want to have a phone call with you, I want to come see you. Be Specific on what your ask is of them. And then the payoff. What's in it for you? This is a great place for a proof point, like we talked about earlier, make it relevant and purposeful. Nobody has time to Chit Chat Today. Attack Your Day like...

...a professional. You have to believe that what you do for living matters. If you don't, you need to go find something else to do. Oh that's a great bottom line. I'm going to end up there, John. Thank you. You're welcome. Thank you to all of you for listening. Hope these answers gave you a couple of tips and tricks and spirit around getting after it today and this week. If you have a topic that you want us to cover. If you have questions that we are answering on the PODCAST, please make sure to email as you can email us at podcast at force MANAGEMENTCOM. 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. You've been listening to the audible ready podcast. To not miss an episode, subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player. Until next time,.

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