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

Episode · 8 months ago

Selling to People with More Experience


Whether you’re making a career change or just joining the sales game, save this episode. Good selling is good selling, no matter your experience or age. John Kaplan joins us to share best practices for green reps who sell to people with more experience. He shares lessons he wishes he learned earlier in his sales career.

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No matter what your experience level, no matter who you're speaking to, what level and the more organization. Everybody loves to be led, provided that you can take them to a place that they can't get to on their own. 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 BTB sales effectiveness. Let's get started. Hello, I'm Rachel Clad Miller. Welcome to the audible ready sales podcast. Today we are going to color a topic that has to do with experience. John Kaplan joins me for the conversation. Hi John, Hi Rachel. I'm assuming you got me on this one, because the jokes on me. I have a lot of experience, which means I'm old, you're you're wise. Oh to Kto always yells at me. So he says you're just experience negotiator. He says it makes me sound old every time. Touche. That's right, I think so, but today that experience. So we're going to be talking specifically specifically to younger reps out there, and I think this topic is important because if you're listening, you might find yourself, if you're, you know, in your first or second, you may be in third job, you may find yourself going up against much more experience decision makers, depending on the industry or wherever you're selling, and these conversations can be intimidating. So I want to give the less experienced reps some confidence about approaching these conversations with conviction and confidence. Yeah, I think this is a really, really good topic. More and more scenarios I see where bdrs, inside sellers are their roles are getting expanded, you know, more and more and being asked to do more and more with a client. So I think,...

I think, a really relevant topic. What what I would say, just at the Uber Level, is we have to change our mindset. You know, intimidation only comes when, you know, using a you versus them mentality. You know, first make it all about them and earn the right to make it all about you. And we're going to talk about that today, as we talked about kind of, you know, using an outside in approach versus an inside out approach. But that Uber Mindset of instead of you versus them. You know, first make it all about them and earn the right to get all about you. I think that will really, really help you. Yeah, yeah, this conversation really comes back to the fundamentals of value based selling, or just clouding it in this idea of going a going up against or selling to more experienced buyers. It doesn't really matter how much experience you have, what age you are, those fundamentals work. Yeah, I mean to you got to just remember to be a successful seller, no matter what your experienced level, you need to articulate value and differentiation in a way that solves your customers most pressing business problems. And you know your goal and every sales interaction is to achieve that ultimate outcome. Just simple fundamentals, right. You know, one of the I get called on a lot from vendors being in marketing, and one of the things I cannot stand is, no matter who's on the other phone, is that they assume that I'm not an expert or that I'm knew and am Newbi or they know more about a particular topic than I do. I mean, if one more person tells me I have to have a clear value prop and a paid Adam going to scream they might know more than I do. I'm not say I know everything, but I don't like them making that an assumption, especially when they don't know me. Yeah, I think that's such a relevant point, Rachel. You know, especially for greener sellers, you know, but if your buyer is seasoned,... want to show empathy and not cockiness. And maybe not cockiness isn't intended, but it's perceived. And you know, one of the most frequent complaints that buyers have with sellers in general is that they don't listen, that sellers don't listen and and that they don't understand their business. And we call that listeners have heard before. We call that the seller deficit disorder. So, you know, not listening to the buyers shows them that you're not interested in knowing what problems they're dealing with and that you're only there to sell them your product in you know, not really focused on a real solution. So if you're a newer rep you want to be especially aware of this seller deficit disorder because you're more experienced. Buyers are going to expect that you haven't been around the block enough to talk to them. From a place of authority. Yeah, we've got some great content overcoming the seller deficit disorder, so be sure to check out the links in the show notes. John, you mentioned empathy and I like to dig on that a little more. It's one thing to have confidence, in conviction around your what you're selling and the problems you solve, but again, you don't want to be a know at all. So how can we show empathy? You have the you know, the best way to show empathy is to understand the challenges that people are facing, and it's kind of to sit in the moment of pain for that buyer. Do you know other people who've face that same challenge and and can share how they've solved it? You know, then you know, find a way to add value to them, you know, without a without an agenda, connect them with someone who's dealing with their same challenges. Often we talk about sharing research with them and, you know, just constantly, constantly trying to show ways to add value to them. Another thing is the way that you ask questions. So you know, ask questions that help you find ways to show the...

...value. What's working. Well, I like to tell people, you know, especially newer reps that are a little bit worried about how am I going to get the customer to tell me something negative? Well, one of the strategies that I have is just to ask them about what's working well, and it's it's part of the human condition to not mislead people or to lie to people. So if you say, Hey, what do you like most about your ability to do x Y Z, when you're really trying to find out what happens when Xyz doesn't work, oftentimes they're going to talk quickly about what's not working. So let me just repeat that. Start with a positive ask a customer about what they like most about either their current environment the current situation. You know, turn it around a little bit and see how fast they begin to tell you about what's not working. I found that strategy really, really works well with new sellers. You've likely heard the same comments before from other prospects. You know learn how to overcome this, you know seller deficit disorder, early in your career, by truly truly listening and articulating what you heard back to your customer. So make it a habit of summarizing. So what I hear you saying, Mr Mrs Customers, Xyz, the reason why I'm telling you this, Mr Mrs Customer, is because you said and when you do that, you're combating that seller deficit disorder in the fact that they don't believe that you heard them. So anytime that you can reinforce that you're listening, I think it's really, really powerful. So show empathy and understanding. Actively listen and don't assume that you know the challenge before they've actually told you. This is something I want to reiterate for the new for the newer sellers, it's not about you knowing what's going on or understanding and understanding the challenge before they actually told you. You don't gain any ground with a customer...

...from an experienced perspective if you cut them off and try to tell them, yeah, I would assume that this is your problem or that that's your problem. That's actually pretty annoying. So you don't have to impress them with what you know. They're more impressed by what you learn from what they tell you and then you can repeat it back. One last part on this, Rachel, one of the you know, great ways to show empathy. This happens to me a lot at force management when we go through discovery and we do a really, really good job with discovery and I've had CEOS and Crros and executive say, man, we just really suck or we just really struggle, or have you seen an organization as bad as us, or what have you, and they're being serious, and it's partly because we allowed them to talk. We ask great discovery questions, had them stand in their moment of pain and they told us. But I never leave somebody there. A lot of times without do us. I'll say hey, MR MRS CEO or CFO or whoever, C Xo, hey, you're not alone. Your answers are not foreign to us. It's actually the exact reason why we exist, and so try that one on. If you're going through a discovery process and a customers getting you're doing a good job of making them stand in their moment of pain. They're they're feeling lower and lower and lower or not, as you know, not confident that they're good organization. Show empathy by saying we see this all the time, you're not alone. It's why we exist. I'd like to talk about some strategies and some solutions that can help address that. It's a really, really good way to show empathy. Yeah, and you know, and help people over this perception that you may not know what you're talking about. I mean, all of this really comes down to finding that problem you can solve and therefore provides some value. Yeah, I'm so. You know, you said it. If there's no need, then there's no value, and if there's no solution that maps to a meet need at it has... value. So both must exist to create a compelling value proposition. And often, you know, newer reps get stuck installed deals because they're progressing opportunities without identifying a big enough business problem that compels a buyer to take action. So we got to remember that you cannot help a customer without understanding the business impacts of the problem facing your customer. I used to say when I was a young sales leader. No business issue, no business. You know, it's a focus on executing effective discovery to uncover customer pain points. Then go deeper. Many of you have heard me say this before. Go deeper, go deeper and understand the negative consequences of those problems. How big of an impact are those issues, you know, making on the business? Because without that negative impact you'll have difficulty moving a deal. Forward. Don't be too eager to move a deal forward before you've really connected yourself to pain. So think about that. Go deeper, go deeper, go deeper, just don't go on the service surface level. Customer says, yeah, you know, I think we have a problem with that. Oh well, you have a problem with that, I have a solution. No, let's find the implications of that pain. New Sellers, just listen to me. You'll struggle with that a little bit because you'll think that you're being negative. I just want to give you some spirit. You're not being negative. That customer situation is negative for them. You're only going through a course of discovery which allows them to emotionally connect to creating urgency to solve that negative situation. So hang in there. Yeah, and you know that point of staying in discovery to find this implications. That just goes back to asking great questions and and really making that person understand that you want to understand business challenges so you can best a...

...lot aligne of solution to help them solve that. And if you stay in that discovery you're just building more positive business intent, as Brian Welsh hat says, you're showing Your Business Acumen and in that process of finding the pain and aligning to it, you earn the respect of the buyer, no matter the difference you have in in experience. Yeah, I love it, Rachel, and it really kind of connects me to the thought of it's not always just what you sell. oftentimes how you sell can differentiate you. And we can say it's not always your level of experience, it's how you sell can overcome that lack of experience. So just remember this. Also. This is one of the reasons why we say everybody loves to be led, each and every person listening to this. We all love to be led, provided that that person that's leading US can take us to a place that we can't get to on our own. So just remember that, no matter what your experience level, no matter who you're speaking to, what level in the organization, everybody loves to be led, provided that you can take them to a place that they can't get to on their own. And you just have to believe and have confidence and conviction that what your company does for a living matters because it solves bigsiness issues, are big problems. Rest there to feel the exhilaration of your experience. Rest there and not worrying about time, how much time you've been doing something or lack thereof. I think that's really, really good advice. So that's a great point, John. And as we wrap up, as with anything, preparation, especially if you're a greener, wrap helps you execute in a way that gives you credibility. Yeah, I think preparation is...

...the great equalizer in this discussion of lack of experience. Preparation is the great equalizer and you know, the difference between stress and pressure is always, always preparedness. So when you put those two together, regardless of where you are, how long you've been selling something, how new you are to an organization, lean into the knowledge skills that are created for you by your company. Learn the answers to the four sunch of questions. What problems do you solve, how specifically do you solve them, how do you solve them differently or better, and and where have you done it before? Lean into those answers from your company. Spend some time preparing in the morning. Two things. How do I attach myself to the biggest business issue facing this customer and how can I influence the decision criteria you with my differentiation today through the use of great discovery questions to get both of those topics up on the table. You sit there in the morning and that will be another great equalizer. Your preparedness will bring you home. So don't worry about your experience or lack thereof. Rest in some of the suggestions that we've given you today and go crush it. Go crush it. Check out the show notes too for some more resources. Thank you, John, my pleasure. All right, thank you to everybody for listening. 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... in your favorite podcast player. Until next time,.

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