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

Episode · 3 months ago

Selling to Hesitant Customers


With the distractions present in today’s world, making an effort to maintain buyer focus is more important than ever. Keeping your customers engaged is particularly crucial during economic downturns, when businesses and individuals alike are hesitant to spend the way they normally would. In this episode, John Kaplan sheds light on how to keep your customers focused when they may be wavering. John shares insight about:

The importance of having an outside-in mentality

Articulating your solution’s value in alignment with your customer’s needs

Getting your customer emotionally connected to their mission-critical problems

Reengaging a prospect after they’ve gone dark

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Right now. You've got to be on your a game, attaching to the biggest business issues of your customers. That's fundamental. No business issue, no business. You're listening to the audible ready podcast, the show that helps you and your teams sell more faster. We'll feature sales leaders sharing their best insights on how to create a sales engine that helps you fuel repeatable revenue growth presented by the team enforce management, a leader in B two B sales effectiveness. Let's get started. Hello and welcome to the audible ready sales podcast. I'm Rachel Clap Miller, joined today by John Kaplan. Hi John, hi, Rachel, John. Today we're talking about maintaining buy, our focus when everything around us is floundering. We've seen the news, we hear the rumors. Recession combing, economic headwins tighten up, whatever it is Um and so this can present some challenges for us as salespeople, and we're gonna walk through some things that you can do today. First Up, you, as a seller,...

...can do yourself a lot of good if you maintain by your focus. Yeah, I like the way you're kicking it off it today. You must have an outside in mentality versus an inside out mentality. So first you make it all about your customers and prospects and and their problems, and then you earn the right to make it all about you. Yeah, so let's walk through some tips. UH, John. First, you have said this before. I want to start with this one. Um, make your buyer contact purposeful, even if yourself you're desperate for some pipeline. Yeah, you first got to make your buyer contact purposeful. You know, there should be a purpose to the conversation. Why are you calling me? I want you to sit with that for a second. What? What is your answer? Are you just picking up the phone, smiling and dialing? You can't do that. You have to have purpose. You gotta reach out to your customers. You gotta listen to them. You've got to find out what they're dealing with.

What are the problems and challenges you are most relevant for? You've got to be audible ready for these. You've got to share relevant insights with them. You've got to share what you're hearing from other customers. You know, if the economy titans, you can share what other customers are doing in ways that adds value to those customers and adds value to those customers, customers. So be purposeful with your contact. I love that. And it's also an opportunity when, when some people are tightening budgets, it can create a window for you as a salesperson, in those purposeful conversations, for you to help your customers be opportunistic. I love that when you can help your customers be opportunistic. You know, some companies are tightening up, some companies are hunkering down, and yet there's other companies that are going for land grabs, and you'll see that in all kinds of economic different economic times. So and then...

...some are doing both. But you know you want to help companies transition to the land grab and help them determine what they need to do to come out of this economic situation stronger and poise for success. You need to be part of that equation. Yeah, make yourself. Make yourself part of it. And people are always buying if they have a pain so big that it can't go another day without being fixed. It's really basic right, articulating your value and your solution differentiation in a way that aligns to those problems and what the buyer needs. Yeah, you have to avoid the urge to sell stuff. You know, the stuff will come find the pain that has urgency. That's mission critical. Um. Nothing gets sold without that in economic headwinds, economic difficult times, nothing gets sold without a direct correlation to the pain and the urgency. So so we have tackled this topic topic before, Um, and...

...we often get some frequent questions from salespeople when we when we say we're going to talk about what do I do in down economy? So I'M gonna run through a couple of them today. Um. First, how do you balance showing your value while being compassionate to the client's needs during tightening budgets, downtimes, economics, downterms, those text things? I think that's a really great way to describe it as a balance. And you know, the best salespeople sell with empathy, uh, and the only way that you can really demonstrate that is by asking questions to best understand the customer's exact problem, Um, and then to speak about your solutions and ways that demonstrate that you're not only heard the problem, but you understand it from the customer's point of view. You know, and during these uncertain times, you you have to get the customer talking about and getting emotionally connected to the problem and getting amostly connected to...

...the problems that are most critical. I'm calling them right now, for the for the near future. I'm calling those mission critical problems. I want you to write that down on a piece of paper. Am I speaking to customers about their mission critical problems? If not, you're gonna see all those other symptoms start to pop up. Your deals are going to get delayed, customers are going to disappear on you, sales cycles are going to lengthen on you, more and more people are going to get involved in the decision process. That is a direct sign to you that you are falling farther and farther away just from something that is deemed a mission critical problem or a mission critical solution. I love that mission critical. So some of us, in our in our sales motions, have tended to rely on inbounds Um leads. Turning over, what outreach prospecting activity would you consider to be the most effective when those...

...inbounds are down, pipelines down, everything's kind of come our lead sources have come to a halt. Yeah, you've got to get really, really laser focused on a couple of things. The knowledge and skills required to be excellent at your job, and we've talked about this before. The knowledge get laser focused on these four centser questions. What problems? Many of you were listening to this. You can probably recite it with me in your car, around your exercise by Treadmill, whatever. Let's do it together. What problems are you solving for your customers? How specifically are you solving those problems? How do you solve them differently or better than anybody else? And where have you done it before? And don't forget this, during economic uh difficult times, your customers problems are going to change just as your problems and challenges and your company are changing. So it's a really good time to revisit those four essential questions. The other thing I want you to take a look at the skill sets that are required right now. You've got to be on your a game...

...attaching to the biggest business issues of your customers. That's fundamental. No business issue no business. You've got to influence decision criteria with your differentiation. So I want you to get close to, you know, Med pick and medic and all the qualification criteria. If you look at that decision criteria and it's not influenced by your differentiation, you're going to be massively at risk. And then the other thing is go back to the fundamentals. When we talked about purposeful contact, remember the three piece. It's good good sales contact, hygiene, purpose, process, payoff. What's the purpose of my call? What process do I want to take the customer through and what's in it for the customer? You've got to be audible ready with that. You have to be on your a game with these principles right now. That's great. That's great. Um, okay, final question. How a lot of customers go dark. I mean, what are your best tips for getting them, to engage...

...with them? Yeah, this is difficult. When this is so painful, that's you know, when the customer goes dark, it's I think the best way to to deal with that is just to speak from the heart, you know, reach out and and ask a customer number one kind of how they're doing, because a lot of times in economic difficulties, if your house is struggling, there's a high probability somebody else's house is struggling in many different ways, all the way down to personal. I think what I saw during covid times and those sellers that took the time to be empathetic and open and vulnerable. Everybody was struggling with covid you know, people working from home, people have had families and their kids were home and home schooling, and I mean it's just get a little reality check, man. When things are going on like that, just reach out in an empathetic way. The other thing, I think, is to be purposeful with your language. Here again, things like sorry, it's been a while since we have connected in a meaningful way. Are you phrases like that a lot. I also ask them for feedback.

I'd say things like I feel like I lost your attention. Can you give me some feedback? Um, you do a self assessment and share it. I've done this before when I'm just and these are all authentic, like I don't feel like I was able to take our conversation above the noise for you, and that's my fault, you know. And then make yourself, you know, really relevant by attaching yourself to a critical business issue of theirs or, or, you know, use a proofpoint, but don't be afraid to be authentic and just call the ball exactly as you're seeing it. Not An accusatory way, but in a vulnerable, empathetic way. Nobody's perfect. You're not perfect, nobody's perfect. That's my greatest suggestion. When customers go dark, speak to them in authentic, open ways. Yeah, there's some good, good tips you gave. There lots of things for people to to write down. Um, and a lot of good tips in this whole conversation, John, for dealing with customers who might be skittish. Wrap us up...

...with a good bottom line. Yeah, it kind of wrote down three things for the bottom line. Empathetic, relevant and stay on point. Empathetic, uh, you know, and being authentic, being, you know, just focused on being outside in. Make it more about the customer than about you. Earn the right to make it about you. So first outside in and then you earn the right for inside out. Being relevant. The best way to be relevant today, as it's always been, is attach yourself to the biggest business issues facing your customer, make sure that those are mission critical business issues and problems that you're working on with them, and then stay on point, make sure that you are really, really on point with the answers to your four essential questions, especially around the problems that you solve and then be purposeful with your contact. The three piece purpose process payoff again. You've got everything you need now on this little short podcast. Go get you see.

That's right all right. Thank you, John. You're welcome, and thank you to all of you for continuing to listen to the audible ready sales podcast. 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 team 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 MANAGEMENT DOT com. 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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