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 Clap Miller and I'm the director of digital engagement for force management. Are Managing Partner, John Kaplan, joins me now to talk trap setting questions. I Rachel, great to be with you again and I really love this topic because it's got to be in the top three follow up questions from our listeners or participants in our training classes. This topic is always in the top three. And really the wrestling with the idea of trap setting questions because you say they're overthinking it. I think you are, because I always tell people trap setting questions are nothing more than discovery questions with the intent to trap the competition. Now, when I say trap the competition, I'm talking about trapping the competition, not the customer, and so really we're trapping the competition around our differentiators. So it's not a hard concept. There's some other reasons why I think people think it's hard and we'll cover that just a few minutes. So you say it's not a hard concept, but for sales people...

O, they're listening, they're saying you say that, John, but it'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 say it's easy all you want, but I still get tripped up on it. So I try to break it down to him make a little bit simpler. First thing I have you do is I have you focus on a differentiator, so in a sense, starting with the endgame and then ask yourself, so what if the customer does not have that differentiator? And then I start thinking about what questions would I ask the customer to get that up on the table to get them to contemplate that. Great advice walks to an example. You know, great example for us that force management of just thinking about a differentiator, but one that comes up all the time as cross functional alignment. Our methodology kind of forces and allows and really needs cross functional alignment, where a lot of the other methodologies that we compete against don't...

...have that. So I just start and ask myself a question. So what if a company doesn't have cross functional alignment around an initiative that we're working on? Well, I understand all the bad things that will happen. So I'm confident and convicted to understand the bad things. So I just go into discovery. I don't tell them about those bad things. I get them to tell me. So I just ask questions like walk me through the last initiative that you had that really required cross functional alignment. What challenges did you have in getting cross functional alignment? What impact did that have on the selling organization? What impact did that have on product development or product engineering or marketing? And then what was the ultimate impact on, you know, the customer or the end user? And I just go into normal discovery. I get all of this digging and the customers feeling a lot of pain around not having cross functional alignment, and then the only crux move that I do that's different than normal...

...discovery is I get them to contemplate. I ask a question like so, what are you doing to ensure that you have cross functional alignment today? And they kind of look at me a little frustrated like well, I don't I'm you know, I'm in trouble on that one. So it allows me to make the ultimate move into the trap setting scenario. I just ask him a simple question. So it sounds like, Mr Mrs Customer, that no matter who you're dealing with, they're going to need to have a methodology or a functionality of what they do to ensure that you get cross functional alignment? Yes or no? They'll say yes and I'll say, do you mind if I just kind of write that down as a require capability? So what I just actually did has got them to come to their own conclusion that they need my differentiator and now they're going to hold everybody else accountable to it through require capabilities. That's why I don't think it's complicated. But really what you're saying is to focus on the endpoint. What do you want the customer to realize about...

...your solution and what is a differentiator that you need them to demand as as a requirement? We've talked about this. I worked in journalism for several years before coming to force. It really reminds me of the way that you're taught to approach a news interview. If if I'm interviewing somebody and I want them to admit on camera that they stole money from their employer, I have to determine a question track that's going to get them to say that. I'm not going to walk in, turn on the lights, turn on the camera and say did you steal the money? That's a quick way to end interview. But my entire line of questioning during that process is going to lead me to ask them that various questions so I can get that answer. Yeah, I think there's a one of my favorite quotes that we use all the time is that people rarely argue with their own conclusions. We talked about that discovery. It's the exact same thing with traps setting questions. If you can get them to a conclusion and that's more favorable to you and holds everybody else accountable and...

...it's their conclusion, they're not going to argue with it. Do you think people get hung up on the word trap and that's where they're confused? You know what, I'm glad you brought that up because I do think this concept of trapping is a little bit weird because, you know, people think about first, they think about trapping the customer. So the first thing, the first paradigm we got a break, is it's not about trapping the customer, it's about trapping the competitor. So you're using discovery with the intent to trap the competition around your differentiator. You're not trapping the customer. So that means that you need to have a solid understanding of your differentiators. Yeah, this is one where we really talk to our it's really twofold the accountabilities to fold in the companies that we serve at force management. We really hold them accountable. You owe it to your sellers, your entire company to have great clarity...

...around what sets you apart from the competitive landscape that you're in. So the company has to take responsibility for really having clarity around what those differentiators are. If you're a participant or you're a seller listening to this a podcast, your role or your accountability is you've got to get those differentiators positioned in the conversation in a very, very powerful and positive way. So your company owes it to you to have clarity on the differentiators. You Owe it to your company, to yourself and to your customers to get them on the table in the discussion. And if you get those differentiators on the table by mastering the trap setting questions, you've got an easier sales process. I think that's I think that's absolutely correct. Remember, breaking it down really simply, what we've got to do in these sales conversations. We got to answer for such of questions. What problems do you solve for your customer? How specifically do you solve them? How do you solve them differently or better than your competition, and...

...where have you done it before? If you leave off how I do it differently or better, you might never get credit for the difference, and not getting credit for the difference is going to make negotiation for value really, really difficult, and that's a great, great final point. Thank you, John. Thank you to all of you for listening. Don't forget to follow force management on Twitter Linkedin. Make sure you're subscribed to a blog on force managementcom.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (164)