Nov. 6, 2019

16: Banish open ended answers


Do you find your prospects being way too vague in their answers to your questions? If so, Keenan agrees with you and says we need to banish open ended answers in his book Gap SellingSupport the show (http://www.unstoppable.do)
Transcript
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Do you find your prospects being way too vague in their answers to your questions? If so, Keenan agrees with you and says, we need to banish open-ended answers in his book gap selling.

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welcome to the bite-size sales podcast where we believe that sales is the most important team and a B2B company, that the sales team deserves great sales skills training, but usually doesn't get it, and that taking bite-size steps each day to get better at your craft is the best way to improve results. I am your host, Andrew Monahan, and I'm using my experiences in B2B sales to bring you simple, actionable ideas every day to help you get better

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So getting vague answers happens all the time. I'm, in fact, I would say that prospects are black belts and vagueness. Things are too slow or too fast. They're not big enough or not small enough. There are too expensive or not realistic. There's lots of vagueness and all these statements that go on and on and on and as Keenan says, and gap selling, something that is too often overlooked in traditional sales training is how to press your customer or prospect to be specific, open ended answers or unacceptable. Open-ended answers are unquantified answers, vague answers, answers that leave you guessing we're not bring fast enough is simply not sufficient information for you to work with. When you're gap selling, it's too open to interpretation what is fast enough. Your idea of fast enough and your prospects may be totally different. Train yourself so that every time you hear a lazy, vague open-ended answer like we need to hire more people or I want to increase revenue, you stop the conversation and ask the prospect to articulate exactly what they mean. You'll probably need to help them along. Maybe something like this buyer, we're not growing fast enough. You can you define that for me? What does fast enough mean to you? Buyer, we're only growing by 22% we need to be hitting 25% [inaudible] . Now you've quantified the problem. Enough is not enough in this case. Enough is 3% more. You have to get people to be specific because open-ended answers don't tell you enough about the problem to help you devise a solution. Every question you ask will give you more data that offers another chance to extrapolate the potential negative consequences that will impact your customer's environment. If things don't change, every answer will deepen your of the current state. So I would say as he does train yourself not to accept vagueness, you need to put something in your mind that triggers that. When you hear someone being too vague that you stop and you don't keep going. A quick hack for you is to write down using the new habit formula from Michael Bungay stainer. So might go something like this when I hear a vague answer, instead of accepting it and moving on to my next question, I will stop and ask, could you define that for me? So that's an , that's a way to do that. In the, in the habit forming formula that monk Michael Bungay stainer , uh , recommends. And by doing that, you start to have common specific understanding of what's going on right now in the current state and also perhaps with a future state, with your prospect that's going to give you the ammunition is going to give you the understanding, the goldmine of information to help build your case. Understand what sort of deal that you have

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if you liked this episode, please share it wide and far spread the word. I get energy from seeing people download and use this content. So please just take 20 seconds to share with anyone you think we'd like it to .

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the episode is sponsored by unstoppable dot. Do most sales teams are not trained effectively in the skills and mindset they deserve and these are the most important people in the company. It's no wonder that only about 50% of reps make quarter every year . Unstoppable is a service that helps sellers and leaders get great at the skills and mindset they need without taking time out of the field. It exists because if the sales team has the right skills and mindset, they thrive. They are confident and the performance

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much better. Find out more and even get a free sales book@bitesizesales.com

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and no to wrap up as Steve to J and S VP of sales at Symantec may or may not have one said training without implementation is just entertainment and pretty poor entertainment. When Monaghan does it, does it make sure you take action on what you learn and keep getting better every day? This world does not need more sales BS, so don't create any more . Be great at the fundamentals. Be honest, be real. Be yourself, just do not BS. And finally, I'm setting off as the great Joe Sexton would by saying, gone to sell

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