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

Episode · 2 months ago

Selling to More Experienced Professionals


If you’re finding yourself new to a selling role and trying to sell to more experienced executives and professionals - this is a podcast for you. If you’re leading a team of greener reps, share this one with them. 

John Kaplan shares how to prepare for conversations with experienced buyers in a way that will drive success and help you feel less intimidated going in. Great selling, is great selling, no matter your experience or background. Tune into this episode to hear tips and actions you can take right now. 

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Check out this and other episodes of The Audible-Ready Podcast at Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or our website.

Don't worry about in experience, don'tbe intimidated, first, make it all about discovering the customer problemand earn the right to talk about what you do for a living, you're listeningto the audible, ready, podcast, the show that helps you and your teams sellmore faster will feature sales leader sharing their best insights on how tocreate a sales engine that helps. You feel repeatable revenue growthpresented by the team of force management, a leader in PT salesaffecting this. Let's get started hello and welcome to the audible, readysales podcast, I'm Rachel capillar joined today by John Catlin High John H,Rachel. So today we're going to tackle a topic that really comes up a lot inour negotiation trainings, but it also relates to just straight selling and ithas to do with general experience. Many of you out there listening are findingyourselves just a few years out of school, trying to sell to much moreexperienced executives professionals. I say it comes up in negotiation becausewe get questions a lot from less experienced raps who are trying tonegotiate with season procurement professionals. We've all been thereright. It can be intimidating, but also a bias that you're that a bias yourbuyer has of you that you have to overcome. So John We've all been there,no matter our current age yeah, I mean. I think this is a really great questionand topic. I think it comes up- and I like this point, because I think youalways want to be respectful and prepared, but you don't want to beintimidated or overwhelmed by experience period. You want to respectexperience, but you don't want to be intimidated. So I think the thing toremember is the most elite sellers.

They first make it all about the buyerand that's all the buyer cares about, because what they don't believe is theydon't believe we understand their business and they don't believe we'regoing to listen to them. That's what all the data says. So if you just focusyour energy and attention to first make it all about the buyer, then you earnthe right to make it all about your company and I think that's a reallygood frame that we should kind of hang on to. As we continue to discuss thisright. Focusing on the buyer helps you in all things is selling, butespecially, if you're, a greener, rap selling two more experiencedprofessionals- and it starts with the something you say all the time, JohnHaving confidence in conviction and what you sell for a living, and thatcomes down to not necessarily always understanding your product, but alsorelated to the buyer, understanding the problems that she solve. Yeah, I meanlike nobody cares how experienced you are if you can solve their problem. Soif you understand how you can solve the problem, it helps your confidence andconviction around what you do for a living. So let me give you a quickexample. I think a lot of the listeners know that I was started forcemanagement after a great career, in my opinion, a great career. So sorry, itsounds a little bit. It sounds a little bit of boasting, but I thought it was agreat career at p TC and I was selling engineering software to engineer. So acouple of problems number one. I wasn't an engineer number two I'd never soldsoftware before so I came from a hardware company at zero, but I was afairly good seller and I was prepared with how my company had prepared me inwhat I mean by that is they help me understand the art of discovery, and sothe first thing I would do is that...

...would ask customers, design engineersand manufacturing engineers. I'd asked them to walk me through their processand, as I walked through their process. I started to ask additional questionsabout where bottle necks were and how often those bottle necks happen andwhat were some of the challenges that were associated with that? How did thatimpact the company? How did that impact the customer? How did that impactthings like you know, pricing on products and delivery on products, andinside of that I had huge confidence and conviction that our company had solutions. I'm nottelling you don't have to understand your solutions, you have to understandyour solutions, but what I did to get my comfort level was to start on,covering the problems first and then seeing the reaction of how big thoseproblems were in how challenging those problems were and made the customeralways hungry to learn more about what I could do to solve them and later on.In my career, when I thought you know when I knew more about the products andservices and I was feeling more and more comfortable, I actually starteddoing less discovery and started to tell people about my products andservices, because I wanted to prove to everybody how smart I was and how I hadmade the transition. I did understand engineering I do understandmanufacturing now and a really cool lesson happened to me, the more that Iknew about the products and services and the more that I told them abouttheir problem, the more they resisted me, and so it was a really goodlearning experience. For me, my maturity came from firstunderstanding their problems, and then I earn the right to talk about what wedid and how we did it differently, and so I just want people to remember thatnobody cares about how mature you are...

...or how much experience you have. Theyonly care if you understand their problem and if you can articulate asolution that meets for solves that problem. I know we have people thatlisten to this podcast. You know they're driving, they're working outthey're sitting at home on their computers. Take a step back. AskYourself: Are you truly positioning you'reselling activities today this week this quarter around? What is important toyour buyer? Get clarity around those business problems you solve. John, I'msorry. We could say something. No, I'm sorry to interrupt you. I just lovethat so much it's like just sitting with that and reflecting on it and saybefore I open up my mouth, I actually have a little enemy within that says.You know. Why are you talking? Why are you talking if my brain cananswer, because the customer said this was the problem, then I shut up andit's really it's not much more difficult than that yeah. I pausedthere for a fact, because I wanted everyone listening to you, I well andsince I'm not comfortable with silence, I jumped in there like every othersales rap Wi. That well done. So so really think about think aboutthat that all of you listen not there get clarity around those businessproblems you solve if you're a command in the message customer make sure youare owning that value frame or understand the problems you're solvingas they have meaning to the specific buyer. Another simple way for you togain clarity around those problems in a way that you can articulate them backand in your sales conversations is that concept we have done the essentialquestions yeah. For me, this is what helped me get my mind right so and P DC Did such a good job for me, and so many companies are doing this such agood job and if you're, a company listening, listen up to this. If you'rea manager listening or a leader...

...listening, listen up to this- if youare a seller, listen up to this because it's got a perspective for all of youis that when I contemplate the answers to the four essential questions,doesn't matter how much experience I have, whether I'm inexperienced orwhether I'm a truly ten yeared employee. The four cent of questions areincredibly solid and I wake up in the morning and really get my mind focusedaround this, which gives me confidence and conviction what problems do I solvefor my customers? What problems do I solve for my customers and we alwaystalk about being audible ready, so that means when I speak about problems, Ihave to speak about technical problems I have to or depending upon what typeof sales you're in if you're, not in a technical sale. I have to think aboutand user problems. I need to think about process problems. I need to thinkabout business problems, and so, when we answer that question, what problemsdo we solve for our customers? We have to be audible, ready, no matter whowe're speaking to how specifically question number two: How specificallydo we solve those problems? Here is where we get to talk about our goodsand services, but only as they relate to solving those problems. How do we solve it differently orbetter than anybody else? How do we solve a different there better thananybody else? This answers the question of what is your differentiation andwhere have you done it before? Where have you done it before? Are the proofpoints and when I'm a new seller or I'm an air inexperience seller, that's oneof the first things that I would do is go to those proof, points and reallyunderstand what have we actually done for customers? What problems did wesolve? How specifically did we solve them? How do we do it differently arebetter than anybody else and what was the outcome? And now I believe, becausethat's the evidence I need and when you believe you will get confidenceandconviction, which will come across... experience which will come across aspeople wanting to lean into you stay focused around the answers to thefour cents of questions. If you don't think you can answer them if you're aleader and you're listening to this podcast- and you don't think yourcompany can answer them, you better get squared away, get the answers. Alignedanswers to those questions. If you are a seller, wake up in the morning andsay I'm going to consume the content that my company gave me around thesefor essential questions and it's my job to execute them and show my characteras it relates to being able to execute them with great skill, and I thinkthose four central questions can get. You really really focused, and I seepeople just skyrocket and their confidence, whether they're new in anindustry or whether they're a new seller. It really doesn't have anybearing once you get your arms around the answers. Those four esentialquestions, you're good to go yeah and you talk about executing onthe essential questions. John, I think that's a really important point,because when you wrap your head around the answer to those questions, it's notenough to just rattle the answers off as bullet points, you need to make themmeaningful for your buyer, we set it at the top. What is important to yourbuyer? That is how you get that confidence to conviction. You'retalking about you need to customize those answers in your conversations towhat matters to the buyer yeah, what the world we live in now the buyers aremultiple buyers. Most of us are selling complex solutions that have multiplebuyers were either selling things as a service, or it depends upon the usageand insights into that usage. And what normally you just sum all that up? It'stypically multiple on ramps to a customer conversation, which means nomatter who I speak to no matter what the problem is thatthey're experiencing. I have to be...

...ready and, like we just said, I thinkthe answer to those four central questions are a great way for us to getready. Okay, I'm going to go talk to a network administrator. Okay. Whatproblems do they typically experience, and how do I solve those? Well, how doI solve them different? They are better than anybody else and where have wedone it before? Okay, I'm going to go talk to a CIO or an executive. Whatproblems and I'm going to elevate those problems and connect them to businessissues? The whole point is you have multiple on ramps. You have to beaudible, ready and you have to approach like you said at the beginning of thePODCAST, you have to make an approach which is outside in I'm first going tomake it all about you before I make it about me and my company yeah the othertopic. I wanted to make sure we covered a little bit more and it's one of thoseessential questions. What's your proof, or have you done it before proof pointspeople want to know, you can do what you say. You can do and they're helpfulfor all sales people, but they can really be essential and gaining thetrust and respect of season decision makers. Yeah. I think they're reallykind of twofold. You know, first and foremost, people want to know you cando what you say you can do so if you say that you drove a specific resultfor a similar type of company, that's going to get their attention, no matterhow many years of work experience you have. People also want to mitigate. Youknow mitigate risk, so they want to know, there's some assurance thatyou're going to deliver the same result and that's how proof points can helpthe second thing the proof points can do- and I said this a little bitearlier, but I love to see people utilize proof pointsto really gain their own confidence and conviction to really read these proofpoints and really sit and reflect with...

...these proof points to say to yourselfwhat I do matters, and so you should dig into the story and understand theproblems that were solved, how you solve them or how your company solvedthem and what was the result and connect the result all the way to thebusiness outcome, and if you didn't do the deal it doesn't matter, don't justthrow out a logo. You know we do business with Bank of America. Whathave you? Nobody cares about logos, what they care about. They do careabout Locos, but what I mean by that is they want to know what happened? Whatproblems were you addressing? How did you solve them? How did you solve themdifferent there better and what was the outcome now? You'll do two things: If youconsume those proof points in that way, you will instantly raise yourcredibility with a customer and you will lower risk like you talked aboutRachel, but you will also build your own confidence and conviction that whatyou do for a living matters, because you have proof yeah and as a company,it's really important to get a process around gathering those popoi proofpoints and having a process to transfer that knowledge to transfer that story.To other reps, I mean it's Cretica and mitigating risks in all your deals, butwhen you talk about enabling greener raps those stories, those met trackscan be the nugget of information that gets an experienced bier to open up andhave and further this the sales conversation. It's really important.Absolutely okay, John Wrap it up. Let's give a closing bottom line on thistopic. This a couple things first thing I want to say is: If you're listeningto this podcast and you're having a o craft moment, an o crap moment meansokay. I understand the four sense of questions, but we don't have theanswers. Nothing is more critical for... right now. If you are a salesleader, if you are a CEO, if you are a seller, if you do not have the answersto those four essential questions, you're going to be compromised out inthe field- and you want a couple that with bringing on New People into anorganization, maybe that don't have the maturity in the organization or in theindustry or just basically, maybe even in selling experience, if you don'tequip them with that, you are really putting the outcomes at risk. So that'skind of first and foremost for me now let me speak to the people out therethat this podcast was really kind of intended. For you know, first, is hey:sometimes they get a little intimidated with talking to executives or whatever.Don't worry about inexperience don't be intimidated, first, make it all aboutdiscovering the customer problem and earn the right to talk about what youdo for a living. When you first make it all about the customers problem, youare solving something that we call the cellar deficit disorder whichexecutives don't believe that you understand their business and theydon't believe that you're going to listen to them. The very act of goingthrough discovery to understand and uncover and validate those problemswill give you the equivalent of experience and maturity in front of anyexecutive, prepare yourself by understanding your company's value byunderstanding the answers of the four cental questions, and if you can't doit, if you don't know it talk to your boss, talk to your manager, if you're amanager- and you don't have it- and you can't do it talk to your executive teamexecutive team, if you guys can't do it from an aligned perspective, and youdon't have common language around these get busy and get common language andalignment around the answers to the...

...four cent UF questions. It's critical boom Mike Job John Cathrine. Thank you.Thanks for Rachel all right, thank you to all of you for listening to theaudible, ready sales podcast at force management. We're focused ontransforming sales organizations into elite teams, are proven methodologies,deliver programs that build company alignment and fuel repeatable revenuegrowth, give your teams the ability to execute the gross strategy at the pointof sale. Our strength is our experience. The proof is in our results. Let's getstarted visit us at force. Management Com. You've been listening to theaudible, ready podcast to not miss an episode subscribe to the show in yourfavorite podcast player until next time. I.

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