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

Episode · 6 years ago

Uncovering Business Pain

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Managing Director John Kaplan discusses ways to "dig deep" on negative consequences and motivate your buyer to take action.

Hello, I'm Rachel Clapp Miller andI'm the director of digital engagement at force management. I'm joined by our managingdirector, John Kaplan, and today we're talking about really trying to uncover thetrue business impact of a problem. In Command of the message we call thatuncovering negative consequences. Hi, Rachel, and as usual, another great topicthis week. And we get a lot of questions on negative consequences from ourcommand in the message alumni, and it's pretty much status quote to find mea compelling event that's motivating a customer not take action. We all know wehave to do that, but sales people really need to work harder and gobeyond just uncovering that event. Yeah, I think. I think it doesgo beyond that. It's really all about attaching yourself to the biggest business issuefacing the customer. The bigger the problem, the more urgent it will be.You know, the bigger the problem, the bigger the dollars are to fixit, and the bigger the problem, the more access you will have tothe people of power and influence. We know how important finding that bigproblem is, so help us with a...

...good definition of negative consequences. Yeah, I think a good definition is all the bad things that are happening becauseof the business problem. And, like so many things in the sales process, it really starts with effective discovery. Great discovery brings the customer to theirown conclusion. This really takes preparation. Like so many things. We talkedabout how preparation is key before any conversation you're having with a prospect or acustomer. But if you want to really uncover those negative consequences and get tothe business impact of the problem, you really need to have confidence yourself andthe problems you solved. Yeah, I like the way that you said thatrate. No. Confidence and conviction really really translates for me into that youknow, you believe that what you do matters. You have to believe that. We talked about that a lot, having confidence and conviction in what youdo. So what do you think the biggest mistake sales people make when itcomes to identifying these negative consequences? I...

...think it's just patience. You know, I don't think we're patient enough. In your mind, I think youshould be just saying in a wait for it, wait for it, keepdigging, look to connect to the business issue and look to connect those businessissues to all of the challenging things that are going on around them because ofthat business issue. You know, look for things internally that you can connectto, look to things externally that you can connect to and ultimately connect thosebusiness issues and those challenges to real money, to revenue and cost issues because ofthe business issue. And I think maybe that's where the the challenge lieis because it can be tough to get a customer to talk about negative,negative things, and I think salespeople by nature are people who want to fixa problem that's in their DNA. So it can be difficult to not jumpright through all this negative business impact through to the positive business outcomes, talkingabout the solution in the great things they're going to that are going to comewhen, when that deal is signed.

But staying on those negative consequences canreally benefit you as you maneuver through the sales cycle, especially when you're dealingwith things like multiple decisionmakers. Yeah, I think you're bringing up to really, really good points. You know, the longer you can stand in themoment of pain, the more they will connect to it themselves. And whenyou have multiple decisionmakers, you know, things like negative consequence. Pence hastend to transcend all levels in an organization and, as we were talking aboutearlier, I think when you think about your own sales process and aligning witha buyer, it's a lot easier to identify that those negative consequences early onthen to get in the late stages the deal and have to backtrack. Imean, talk about awkward. Yeah, I think that's really great because,when you think about it, discovery and your mind discovery should really be focusedearly on uncovering the negative consequences and getting a customer to kind of emotionally connectto it. When you do that early,...

...you have much more of a chanceto get that customer to open up about those problems and challenges. Thelater, you know, the longer you go in a sales cycle, themore the customer is looking for solutions and the more they're getting closer to theirdecision. So think about it this way. So the last time you bought acar or something that you really, you know needed to have, thelast thing you were doing at the end of your sale cycle was letting thatsalesperson know how much you need it, what they were selling. So doit early and we've had a lot of great examples of command of the messageparticipants who have dubbed deep in negative consequences and really reframed the sales conversation totalk about that business pain and aligning their value with the biggest business problem facingtheir prospect organization. Talk about one of the great examples that you might haveheard from one of your coming of the message students, for lack of abetter term. One of my favorite, you know, was a is acustomer that deals with medical devices. They're...

...the largest and oldest medical device companyin the United States and they were called in on this hospital, R FP, and this hospital was all focused on reducing cost and you know, aswell as they should be. There's a lot, a lot of pressure andhealthcare right now to do this. But during their preparation our sales team wasfocused on one of the number one business issues facing this hospital, which wasreducing hospital acquired infections. This was a big, big issue for this hospital. So they went before the committee and the committee was expecting them to talkabout all of the solutions that they had to reduce the cost and they stuckto their guns and ask questions to connect this committee to the to the issuesassociated with hospital acquired infections. And actually it was a difficult, kind ofa difficult meeting and the committee members were a little bit frustrated. They wantedthem to stay on the topic of, you know, reducing cost and sothey actually one of the committee members,...

...the head of the committee, saidHey, XYZ vender, which you please, would you please leave the room forus and and you know, we'll call you back. And what actuallyhappened was this same board member, committee member, looked at the rest ofthe group and said, Hey, they're asking US questions about the number onechallenge for this hospital and we are resisting to give them answers. So ina sense what he was saying was we've lost our own emotional connection to whatwe do that matters or impacts this hospital. They actually brought that group back inand ask them. All right, go ahead and ask your questions theway you want to ask him to us. And in the end it was areally, really great outcome. It went from a one point five milliondollar deal to a seven million dollar deal for this group. Just a great, great story. We love that story. And when you think about attaching yoursolution to the biggest business problem, a lot of times when you gointo that sales meeting, your solution may...

...not be in the budget. Butto the point of this story, that's initial one point five million dollar solutionmight not have been in the budget, but what also was not in thebudget is a Mersea outbreak that was going to cost them millions of million dollarsif they didn't take the steps to control it, no doubt. So gettingback to the negative consequences, we always like to end these podcasts with witha bottom line and and you're the king of bottom lines, John, so, when we talk about attaching to the biggest business problem, digging down onnegative consequences, what's the bottom line? I think the bottom line is forceyourself to stay in the moment of discovery where your customer has to emotionally connectwith the magnitude of the problem. That's great. I will also and withthe mantra. Wait for it, that's a good thing to remember. Thankyou, John. Thank you all of you for listening. Don't forget tofollow force management on twitter, linkedin. Make sure you subscribe to our blogon force managementcom.

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