Nov. 20, 2019

26: Who is most uncomfortable? You or your prospect?


Have you ever felt uncomfortable asking your prospect a deeper question? But wish you had? In Let's Get Real or Let's Not Play, Mahan Khasla and Randy Illig address this issue

Support the show (http://www.unstoppable.do)

Transcript
Speaker 1:

Have you ever felt uncomfortable asking your prospect a deeper question, but kind of wish you had in less, get real or less not play Mankiw's law and Randy eyelid address this issue.

Speaker 2:

[inaudible]

Speaker 3:

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.

Speaker 2:

[inaudible]

Speaker 1:

alright everyone. Welcome to episode 26 of the bite size sales podcast. Thanks to all of those of you that are subscribers already and give me feedback. Uh, I heard for more than one of you that I probably need to lighten up a little bit. Uh, I guess they thought that uh, many of the first episodes were too formal, so point taken to that feedback on the chin. So anyway, thanks for subscribing. And for those of you that a nurse described yet, but you get value, you like what we wear , I talk about on these episodes, please just hit subscribe and you'll find that these episodes show up in your podcast app all the time. So for today's topic, it's something I definitely used to struggle with when I was younger in my career when I was first starting out. And honestly, you know, through to probably the middle part of my career. And I know others do as well, whether they admit it or not. I've, I've coached people, I've sat in on calls where people, I can see them wrestling with this and it's a , it's kind of interesting area. But to tee it up properly, let me read from the book, which is let's get real or let's not play written by man cassoulet and Randy Islac cause they frame it up really well. So the , the section's called, if you feel it, ask it. The authors often observe the consultants who are attempting to peel the onion. We'll get close to the last level of questioning and then just before they get to the real impact or a measurable, they bail out with a safe question like how many employees do you have or what's your current version of the software? Afterward, when the consultants are asked during the debriefing, if they could hear in their minds what the next question should have been, they usually say yes, but clearly the other person would have felt uncomfortable if I'd asked that question. During win loss analysis, when the client is asked, if the consultant asked this question, what would have been your reaction? The often say tough question. A good though I would have liked to have talked about that. The reason consultants frequently give for not getting to the heart of the matter is that they feel the client would feel uncomfortable. The real reason seems to be that the consultant would feel uncomfortable. The irony is that we wait to establish rapport before asking the hard question. It asking the hard question can help us establish rapport. It is not as if clients know their eventual response and are just waiting for you to discover it. Often they have not been through the intellectual or emotional inquiry to figure out the real consequence of their situation. Getting to the heart of the matter provides added value to the client, not just more information to you. And there you have it that was read straight from the book. Let's get real or let's not play by Mankiw's law and Randy eyelid . And to reemphasize that last bit, often we wait for rapport before asking the hard question when often asking the hard question in a soft way creates rapport. And you know, this is something that , as I said, I've seen a lot from people , um , and I do hear all the reasons why it wasn't appropriate to ask the question or get into that part of the conversation. The end of the day, people don't feel comfortable and there may be lots of reasons why that's the situation, why that's the case. It could be more can be about how they feel about themselves, a stature they thing the AV . It could be about some, maybe one or two times in the past when it got really uncomfortable. When they asked a tough question, they weren't um , doing it in the right way. It might be about how they feel about the value they bring to the conversation. You know, who knows, right? There's lots of head trash going on there to say they can ask these tough questions. The thing is, is that they have to be asked and there's all sorts of benefits for doing it, but what do you do about it? How'd you get from a standpoint of feeling uncomfortable, asking it to actually be uncomfortable asking it. So what I would say firstly is you have to recognize that this is on you. This is your, what's going on in your mind is holding you back from asking the question. It's something that you're bringing to the conversation that is probably not rooted in reality. There's a famous quote, and I forget who who is from, but they said something like, you know, my life was full of all sorts of adversities, a few of which actually ever happened. And the idea is that you know, our, our minds hold us back sometimes . So first of all you got to do is be okay with being uncomfortable, right? You recognize I'm entering into a stage in this conversation for whatever reason I'm feeling a little bit uncomfortable, but I'm going to take that one step forward and ask this next question, right? That's you . It's sound like you're committing to asking 15 more questions. You're just going to take the one step forward to ask this next question and see what happens. You know, if you do that in a thematic , inappropriate way, and you might use some softeners if you're still uncomfortable, but you know how you lead into the question, you know your authentic nature and your desire to understand is going to shine through, right? If you ask it in a very kind of, I don't know, accusatory fashion or it feels weird and uncomfortable, then that's going to come across as well. So you'll be at the point where you say, look, I'm going to be uncomfortable, but I'm being authentic here. I'm trying to understand. That's my goal of asking this question and that's what will come through. So the, the, the action from this is take this step to ask the question, you know, take that one step as one more question. If you think about it, you know, there might be two outcomes that come from it. One is clearly, you know, the person you asked doesn't want to answer the question. You know, very rarely are they going to ever say, well that's it. You know, discussion over and walking out, right? They might just say or give you some sort of verbal cue that, you know, you're not there yet at that point you can back out . But most of the time they'll probably start entering into a dialogue. And especially as you go higher in the organization where you know, they're used to dealing with these tougher conversations, right? Maybe it's something that they think about all the time, maybe not with their, their lower down people, but they're thinking about all the time. And actually they're welcome. They might welcome having that conversation with you. And if you do feel uncomfortable with it, you can soften it with, you know, I'm curious about, or you know, and maybe one way actually if you want to be really, truly transparent, authentic, vulnerable, is to say, look, I've got another question to ask you. And you know, I've only, we only be chatting for 15 minutes. I'm somewhat uncomfortable asking it, but you know, let me just take a step forward here and , and, and see what your thoughts are and then go into the question, right? You've, you've told them that you feel uncomfortable asking it, it's primed them for maybe a more difficult question to ask. And it's , it's much more human for you to do that. And it's more human for them to respond. And they might, even if they're not comfortable, they might respond in quite a positive way to say, no, I, you know , see where you're uncomfortable. I'm not ready to talk about that. Right. But , uh , you know, different tips in here about how to ask that question. I think the key thing is take that one step forward to ask that tough question that maybe you're not asking right now.

Speaker 2:

[inaudible]

Speaker 3:

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 would like it to

Speaker 2:

[inaudible] . This

Speaker 3:

episode is sponsored by unstoppable dot du . Most sales teams are not trained effectively 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're confident

Speaker 1:

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

Speaker 2:

[inaudible]

Speaker 1:

I know. To wrap up as Joe Mara , VP of sled sales at [inaudible]

Speaker 3:

take may or may not have one said training with our implementation is just entertainment and prepare entertainment when Monaghan does it. So 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 anymore . Be great at the fundamentals. Be honest, be real. Be yourself. Just do not be us. And finally, I'm setting off as the great Joe Sexton would by saying, gone to sell

Speaker 2:

[inaudible] .