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

Episode · 6 years ago

How to Trap Your Competition

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Managing Director John Kaplan discusses his best practices for asking great trap setting questions that help you demonstrate your differentiation and rise above the competition.

Hello, I'm Rachel Clapmiller and I'mthe director of digital engagement for force management. Our managing partner,John Caplin, joins me now to talk trapsetting questions. I Rachel greatto be with you again, and I really love this topic because it's got to be inthe top three follow up questions from our listeners or participants in ourtraining classes. This topic is always in the top three and really thewrestling with the idea of trap setting questions because you say they'reoverthinking it. I think you are because I always tell people trapsetting questions are nothing more than discovery questions with the intent totrap the competition. Now when I say, trap the competition I'm talking abouttrapping the competition, not the customer and so really we're trappingthe competition around our differentiators. So it's not a hardconcept. There's some other reasons why I think people think it's hard andwe'll cover that in just a few minutes.

So you say it's not a hard concept, butfor sales people out there listening they're, saying you say that John, butit's always easier said than done. So how do I not get tripped up by the trap,setting yeah so you're right? That's what they say. They say you can sayit's easy all you want, but I still get tripped up on it. So I try to break itdown to him. Make a little bit simpler. First thing I have you do is I have youfocus on a differentiator so in a sense, starting with the end game and then askyourself so one if the customer does not have that differentiator and then Istart thinking about what questions. Would I ask the customer to get that upon the table to get them to contemplate that great advice? Wakisteran example,you know a great example for us at force management, I'm just thinkingabout a different shitter, but one that comes up all the time, its crossfunxand Al alignement our methodology, kind of forces and allows and really needscrossfunctional alignment where a lot...

...of the other methodologies that wecompete against. Don't have that. So I just start and ask myself a question.So what? If a company doesn't have crossfunctional alignment around aninitiative that we're working on well, I understand all the bad things thatwill happen, so I'm confident a convicted to understand the bad things.So I just go into discovery. I don't tell them about those bad things. I getthem to tell me. So I just ask questions like walk me through the lastinitiative that you had that really required cross functional alignment.What challenges did you have and getting cross functional alignment?What impact did that have on the selling organization? What impact didthat have on product development or product engineering or marketing? Andthen what was the ultimate impact on? You know the customer, the end user andI just go into normal discovery. I get all of this digging and the customersfeeling a lot of pain around not having cross functionl alignment and then theonly crux move that I do that's...

...different than normal discovery. Is Iget them to contemplate? I ask a question like so: What are you doing toensure that you have crossfunctional alignment today and they kind of lookat me little frustrated like well? I don't I'm you know I'm in trouble onthat one, so it allows me to make the ultimate move in the trap. Settingscenario, I just ask him a simple question, so it sounds like Mitermissus customer that no matter who you're dealing with they're going toneed to have a methodology or a functionality of what they do to ensurethat you get cross functional alignment, yes or no hey'll, say yes and I'll say.Do you mind if I just kind of write that down as a require capability, sowhat I just actually did is got them to come to their own conclusion that theyneed my differentiator and now they're going to hold everybody elseaccountable to it through acquire capabilities. That's why I don't thinkit's complicated really what you're saying is to focus on the endpoint.What do you want the customer to...

...realize about your solution and what isthe differentiator that you need them to demand? As as a requirement we'vetalked about this? I worked in journalism for several years beforecoming to force. It really reminds me of the way that you're taught toapproach the news interview if I'm interviewing somebody- and Iwant them to admit on camera- that they stole money from their employer. I haveto determine a question track. That's going to get them to say that I'm notgoing to walk in turn on the lights turn on the camera and say: Did yousteal the moneythat's, a quick way to end interview, but my entire line ofquestioning during that process is going to lead me to ask them thatvarious question. So I can get that answer yeah, I think there's a one ofmy favorite quotes that we use all the time is that people rarely argue withtheir own conclusions. We talk about that and discovery. It's the exact samething with trap, setting questions if you can get them to a conclusion,that's more favorable to you and holds...

...everybody else accountable and it'stheir conclusion. They're not going to argue with it. Do you think people get hung up on theword trap and that's where they're confused o? You know what I'm glad youbrought that up, because I do think this concept of trapping is a littlebit weird, because you know people think about first, they think abouttrapping the customer. So the first thing, the first paradigme we got abreak, is it's not about trapping the customer? It's about trapping thecompetitor, so you're, using discovery with the intent to trap the competitionaround your differentiator you're, not trapping the customer. So that meansthat you need to have a solid understanding of your different jatorsyeah. This is one where we really talk to our its really twofold. The theaccountability is too full in the companies that we serve at forcemanagement. We really hold them accountable. You owe it to your sellers,your entire company, to have great...

...clarity around what sets you, apartfrom the competitive landscape that you're in so the company has to takeresponsibility for really having clarity around what thosedifferentiators are, if you're, a participantant or you're a seller.Listening to this podcast, your role or your accountability is you've got toget those differentiators positioned in the conversation in a very, verypowerful and positive way. So your company owes it to you to have clarityon the differentiators. You Owe it to your company to yourself and yourcustomers to get them on the table in the discussion and if you get thosedifferent shaers on the table by mastering a trap sitting, questionsyou've got an easier sales process. I think that's, I think, that'sabsolutely correct. Remember breaking it down, really simply what we've gotto do in these sales conversations we got ta answer four Centar questions.What problems do you solve for your customer? How specifically do you solvethem? How do you solve them differently...

...or better than your competition, andwhere have you done it before? If you leave off how I do it differently orbetter, you might never get credit for the difference and not getting credit,for the difference is going to make negotiation for value really reallydifficult, and that's a great great final point.Thank you, John. Thank you to all of you for listening. Don't forget tofollow force management and twitter linked in make sure you're subscribedto a blog onforced managementcom.

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