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 andI'm the director of digital engagement for force management. Are Managing Partner, JohnKaplan, joins me now to talk trap setting questions. I Rachel, greatto be with you again and I really love this topic because it's got tobe in the 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're overthinking it.I think you are, because I always tell people trap setting questions are nothingmore than discovery questions with the intent to trap the competition. Now, whenI say trap the competition, I'm talking about trapping the competition, not thecustomer, and so really we're trapping the competition around our differentiators. So it'snot a hard concept. There's some other reasons why I think people think it'shard and we'll cover that just a few minutes. So you say it's nota hard concept, but for sales people...

O, they're listening, they're sayingyou say that, John, but it's always easier said than done. Sohow do I not get tripped up by the trap setting yeah, so you'reright. That's what they say. They say, you can say it's easyall you want, but I still get tripped up on it. So Itry to break it down to him make a little bit simpler. First thingI have you do is I have you focus on a differentiator, so ina sense, starting with the endgame and then ask yourself, so what ifthe customer does not have that differentiator? And then I start thinking about whatquestions would I ask the customer to get that up on the table to getthem to contemplate that. Great advice walks to an example. You know,great example for us that force management of just thinking about a differentiator, butone that comes up all the time as cross functional alignment. Our methodology kindof forces and allows and really needs cross functional alignment, where a lot ofthe other methodologies that we compete against don't...

...have that. So I just startand ask myself a question. So what if a company doesn't have cross functionalalignment around an initiative that we're working on? Well, I understand all the badthings that will happen. So I'm confident and convicted to understand the badthings. So I just go into discovery. I don't tell them about those badthings. I get them to tell me. So I just ask questionslike walk me through the last initiative that you had that really required cross functionalalignment. What challenges did you have in getting cross functional alignment? What impactdid that have on the selling organization? What impact did that have on productdevelopment or product engineering or marketing? And then what was the ultimate impact on, you know, the customer or the end user? And I just gointo normal discovery. I get all of this digging and the customers feeling alot of pain around not having cross functional alignment, and then the only cruxmove 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 thatyou have cross functional alignment today? And they kind of look at me alittle 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 into the trapsetting 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 goingto need to have a methodology or a functionality of what they do to ensurethat you get cross functional alignment? Yes or no? They'll say yes andI'll say, do you mind if I just kind of write that down asa require capability? So what I just actually did has got them to cometo their own conclusion that they need my differentiator and now they're going to holdeverybody 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. Whatdo you want the customer to realize about...

...your solution and what is a differentiatorthat 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 reallyreminds me of the way that you're taught to approach a news interview. Ifif I'm interviewing somebody and I want them to admit on camera that they stolemoney from their employer, I have to determine a question track that's going toget them to say that. I'm not going to walk in, turn onthe 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 duringthat process is going to lead me to ask them that various questions so Ican get that answer. Yeah, I think there's a one of my favoritequotes that we use all the time is that people rarely argue with their ownconclusions. We talked about that discovery. It's the exact same thing with trapssetting questions. If you can get them to a conclusion and that's more favorableto you and holds everybody else accountable and...

...it's their conclusion, they're not goingto argue with it. Do you think people get hung up on the wordtrap and that's where they're confused? You know what, I'm glad you broughtthat up because I do think this concept of trapping is a little bit weirdbecause, you know, people think about first, they think about trapping thecustomer. 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. Soyou're using discovery with the intent to trap the competition around your differentiator. You'renot trapping the customer. So that means that you need to have a solidunderstanding of your differentiators. Yeah, this is one where we really talk toour it's really twofold the accountabilities to fold in the companies that we serve atforce 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 thecompetitive landscape that you're in. So the company has to take responsibility for reallyhaving clarity around what those differentiators are. If you're a participant or you're aseller listening to this a podcast, your role or your accountability is you've gotto get those differentiators positioned in the conversation in a very, very powerful andpositive way. So your company owes it to you to have clarity on thedifferentiators. You Owe it to your company, to yourself and to your customers toget them on the table in the discussion. And if you get thosedifferentiators on the table by mastering the trap setting questions, you've got an easiersales process. I think that's I think that's absolutely correct. Remember, breakingit 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 yourcustomer? How specifically do you solve them? How do you solve themdifferently 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 neverget credit for the difference, and not getting credit for the difference is goingto make negotiation for value really, really difficult, and that's a great,great final point. Thank you, John. Thank you to all of you forlistening. Don't forget to follow force management on Twitter Linkedin. Make sureyou're subscribed to a blog on force managementcom.

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