What’s your Big Idea? And does your Big Idea solve your prospect’s Big Problem? Exploring this important aspect of a discovery call today are Chris Beall and Corey Frank. As Chris explains it, at the beginning of a discovery call, you don’t really know what problem your prospect is facing. And because prospects are generally reluctant to confess their companies’ issues and concerns to strangers, it’s often tough for you to determine whether this is a call that will lead to the next step in the sales process — or will lead nowhere. You can nudge a prospect toward the confessional with a few probing questions, but you can’t necessarily get them to sit down in the booth and open up. So, how do you find out if your product or service is a good match for their needs or wants? Listen in as Corey and Chris teach you how to subtly and expertly steer your prospect away from their initial apprehension of talking to a stranger all the way to the moment when they finally feel safe enough to divulge the information you’re seeking. Then, and only then, will you know if your product will truly solve their problem. As always, our two sales experts offer lots of helpful advice on today’s Market Dominance Guys’ episode, “Is Your Product the Answer?”
Full episode transcript below:
What's your big idea and does your big idea solve your prospect's big problem? Exploring this important aspect of a Discovery call today are Chris Beal and Corey Frank. As Chris explains it at the beginning of a Discovery call, you don't really know what problem your prospect is facing. And because prospects are generally reluctant to confess their company's issues and concerns to strangers, it's often tough for you to determine whether this is a call that will lead to the next step in the sales process, or will it lead nowhere. You can nudge your prospect toward the confessional with a few probing questions, but you can't necessarily get them to sit down in the booth and open up. So, how do you find out if your product or service is a good match for their needs or wants? Listen in as Corey and Chris teach you how to subtly and expertly steer your prospect away from their initial apprehension of talking to a stranger all the way to the moment when they finally feel safe enough to divulge the information you are seeking.
Then, and only then, will you know if your product will truly solve their problem. As always, our two sales experts offer lots of helpful advice on today's Market Dominance Guys episode, is your product the answer?
How do we unplug? I think we started this conversation, is it possible to rewire the brain from the way that we do Discovery and our good friend, Oren Klaff, talks about the way that we learn things chronologically from our bad bosses, from bad behaviors, from trying to wing it, is the way that we run them or that we talk about. And so I think you and I earlier were talking about the alphabet, ABCDEFG. If I asked you to go to K and then tell me the alphabet backwards, well, maybe you could, but most people couldn't do it because you didn't learn the information that way. And so usually folks, again, are learning about Discovery from who's sitting next to them, maybe their own persona, maybe how they were pitched themself on a product. And so they need to gravitate to the right way of understanding the emotional state, from what I hear you're saying, to help us rewire.
And we rewire this natural, what we think is a natural order of doing things, otherwise, we're going to constantly keep fighting this inclination to do it the wrong way all the time. And in the process, I think that what I hear you saying, Chris, is that what we're trying to reconstruct is how the buyer really cares about things, how the buyer really sees things. They don't care about how we learn about it. They don't care how we think about it. They don't care what our quota is. They don't care how we do our business. They don't care how we get our business. They only care about the information that they need to know in the order that they need to know it.
And they need to be motivated to learn, which is hard, right? Folks are motivated to learn about stuff that might solve a problem that they have right now. And this actually is similar to the cold calling, how do you get trust? Well, you show the other person that you see the world through their eyes, tactical empathy, and then you demonstrate to them that you're competent to solve a problem they have right now. The problem in discovery is we don't know what their problem is that they have right now. So how are we going to allow them or get them to be comfortable exposing it? Nobody likes to talk about the big problem that they have right now. That's vulnerability just like, here doctor, before we get started, I'd like to cut my chest open and show you this. It's like, no, I'm not there. So this rewiring is really hard and it's hard for emotional reasons on both sides. You have urgency on the part of the sales rep, you have apprehension on the part of the potential buyer or the prospect.
How do you get from there to a place where you're actually discussing the nature of their problem? The beauty is once you get there, you are an expert as the seller and the other party will get more and more comfortable telling you the details, the constraints, the importance of their problem as they realize that you are asking questions that are the questions they've been asking themselves about it. And as soon as that happens, then you're in this magic land. You're in the confessional. And you're both just mutually exploring the possibility that this is worth exploring further, because by the way, the POC ain't going to come out of that Discovery call, come on. There has to be some subsequent thinking and consideration that goes on. Even at ConnectAndSell, all we're seeking is a next step of let's just do something together. This test drive thing, let's have an experience together, but we're not having it in hopes of buying connect.
And so we're just having it because, frankly, our product's incomprehensible without having the experience, you may as well have the experience. We got there eight years ago and decided that that was an okay thing to be shooting for. It's a further discussion with action. It's like, oh, so you think that my approach to the golf swing might hold some promise. Well, would you like to go out and spend an hour and see what it's like? I'll take your left hand off the club, if you're right handed, and you're going to swing with so much weakness that you'll start producing good golf shots to your own surprise. It's that kind of thing. Is it worth that? You're not going to, mind you, I'm not a golf teacher. That's like being a lawyer without a license or something, but I have a theory. Well, if you like my theory, maybe you'd come out and experience it.
So it's such an interesting process because in the cold call we never really have a breakthrough. We have an agreement. We have a breakthrough we're bringing, but we have an agreement, a commitment that comes out in the end, but there's no breakthrough. In a Discovery call, we must have a breakthrough. And the breakthrough is into the confessional. And once we're in the confessional, as long as we are not trying to manipulate the situation, and this is the hardest part of sales. You really believe that you have a solution in certain circumstances that would really help somebody and would be worth their while to go down the road and spend somebody else's money. Remember, it's always somebody else's money. It's B2B. So they're spending their company's money or whatever it happens to be. So we really believe in this, but if we push for it and therefore our product is always the answer, we can't possibly be honestly exploring whether our product's the answer. It just doesn't make any sense. You have to be open to not being the answer in order to honestly explore whether you are the answer.
Yeah, sure. I like that. I think that after that emotional state is accepted, validated and transitioned from that apprehension to pride. And, again, back to our friend, Orin, here on the concept of the big idea, or even with our friend, Brad at Sandler, the big idea from the Sandler Sales Training is they both say. Orin talks about this big idea is we have to then get the prospect to see that there's a raising of the stakes, there's consequences and outcomes. There's a fear of missing out. There's an opportunity, something is being taken away.
But that first step of raising the stakes to get them to open up a little bit in the confessional, because if there's no raising of the stakes, there's nothing to talk about. And if they see the stakes are perhaps being raised, then they may feel a little bit more open to say, okay, well, it sounds like you're an expert and maybe we can talk about this problem that I have to create this little intrigue. What do you think about that kind of concept of the next step after moving them to a point of pride and less off of the apprehension?
I think it's huge. Oren talks about winter is coming as a way of framing something in the world as it is right now, this bad thing could be happening and cybersecurity where you guys do a lot of work, it's not very hard to imagine winter is coming. Winter is everywhere, but-
It's nerdy and it's always here. Winter is always here.
Exactly. So we've got to get to the point. In fact, you can look at it this way, you need to get to the point where you're comfortable enough with each other, that you can raise the stakes. Because if you raise the stakes too early, what you're going to get is just run away. They're just going to run away. It's like, so are you an expert? Are you on my side? Are you an expert and are you on my side? Well, it's easy to be an expert, and Orin teaches some great stuff about that. There were some things that happened on our honeymoon, by the way, doing our whiskey tastings in Ila where the flash roll that the [inaudible 00:09:35] talks about was so expertly done by this one young man, he was 19 years old and yet he's walking us to-
And he just nailed it?
And it was the pace, the comfort, the this is so routine for me and I'm thinking, wow, this is wild that they do this crazy stuff to make this crazy stuff. But if you drink it at 11 o'clock in the morning, you better be ready to, so the flash roll, great, establish you as an expert. It's a great thing to learn how to do. I think everybody should have a flash roll. And at ConnectAndSell we teach our reps that a very specific flash roll, they bring up our team today right now live, so you're seeing them live so there's some risk. There's no heightened tension because you're watching on the screen. You're seeing calls and the meetings being set and nobody knows what's going to happen. So a little uncertainty goes a long way right then. And then there's a description of how one of the reps on our team is doing today. Well, here's Steve and so far today he's used ConnectAndSell for two hours, 51 minutes and 17 seconds. And during that time, he's had 631 dials done for him.
And he's had 37 conversations. And he set four meetings and his goal today is 2.7 meetings. So he's probably feeling pretty good right about now. And it's like bah bah bah, only an expert would talk like that. It's not about teaching, it's about establishing yourself as an expert. And that's one of the main things I've taken away from Warren's work and put into my own repertoire is, remember you owe the other person a flash roll because they need to accept you as an expert. And the flash roll is not an attempt to teach them something, it's just to describe something in your world that you would not describe so casually, unless you were an expert.
Speaker 1 (11:34):
We'll be back in a moment, after a quick break. ConnectAndSell, welcome to the end of dialing as you know it. ConnectAndSell's patented technology loads your best sales folks up with eight to 10 times more live, qualified conversations every day. And when we say qualified, we're talking about really qualified like knowing what kind of cheese they like on their impossible Whopper kind of qualified. Learn more at connectandsell.com. And we're back with Corey and Chris.
It's almost like a quick mathematical proof of your expertise in a way. This couldn't have happened. I can't have juggled four balls casually while talking to and taking my hand out and I don't know, petting a cat or something like that, unless I knew something about juggling. So that part is, I think you establish yourself as an expert and experts know things about the world. You go to the dermatologist when they're looking at your body top to bottom, as they will do with us, the older we get and the more we grow up in Arizona, and they're going barnacle, barnacle, barnacle hmm. That hmm you accept. Then the dermatologist says, Hmm, that's like, whoa, my ear's perfect, what do you mean hmm doctor? And I think we might need to biopsy this or two whatever, and we accept it because it's an expert who's on our side.
We certainly are wired to accept experts perspective. And tonality has a lot to do with that. Listening has a lot to do with that. Certainly empathy, as you've talked a lot about, has a lot to do with that. The big idea is attractive enough and it's compelling enough, it's intriguing enough. If it's building enough tension, it elicits the emotion and the prospect that, oh, I'm in the hands of an expert. I should probably sit back and listen to them, examine all the different moles that I have on my body.
Is that a barnacle or is it something more interesting?
And we could finish it. We could talk all day about Discovery. I love picking your brain on this is that runner think it was, is two modes of narrative. You have narrative, straight narrative and then you have paradigmatic. Orin calls them hot cognition and cold cognition. And the paradigmatic mode is the mode of science and it's concerned with logically categorizing the world analysis, cold stuff. The narrative is about building meaning and describing human experiences through those stories. And these stories are human-like or intention with action, like the flash roll at the 19 year old in Edinborough, or the story with the ferry that you told me in Iceland before this, they capture people's explanations about what they want to do and how they'll go about achieving it, painting the picture of the future.
And so I think we have to be on guard of if we put people too much, because we're so happy about our product, in the paradigmatic mode, in logical, mathematical, analytical modes, they eventually grind on us. Bruner's argument was that if we stay too long in paradigmatic cold cognition world, they're going to constantly be testing the things we're saying for truth and falsehood and mathematical correctness. And they won't become interested in us as real characters and believe that we're honest and truthful and aspiring, and we're on the other side of this big swirling blue orb and they'll constantly be questioning and trying to trip us up. So what are your thoughts about that? Because we both sell very technical products and we work with clients that sell very technical products. And sometimes in the Discovery process, we can go a little bit too one way on the cold speeds feeds paradigmatic mode and that pushes us away from their trust in a lot of ways.
I think that's a big deal. It's very tempting to go for the paradigmatic stuff because it's ballistic. I say this, I say this, I say this, I say this. I say this. It is like reciting the alphabet. And I might think that I'm still flash rolling but at that point, I'm not. I'm not establishing myself as an expert. I'm establishing myself as a boring pedant who has got to be ignored sometime soon. And I'm also establishing myself as somebody who is tiresome to listen to. It's very difficult for most of us to do analytic work, analytic work is physically exhausting and some people can do more of it than others. And so take an example, I don't know if a puzzle, like a Sudoku puzzle, when you first approach it, it seems easy. And then you get this stuck feeling, and what that is is you've actually run out of analytic juice and if you put it away and come back, after two hours or whatever, you'll immediately be able to make the next-
You've run out of analytical juice. That's one for the ages, Chris, I love that.
And I'm an analyst by nature. I have people who have worked with me in these other ways know that I am annoyingly analytical. I spent two hours this morning buried in some spreadsheet in which I was trying to predict how much ARR would come out of a new product, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And I'm pretty comfortable with that but I recognize there's a point where I'm no longer too tired of that kind of thinking. When it's coming out of me, I have a lot more juice. When it's coming into me, somebody's asking me to go along with their analysis, then I have this other problem. And the other problem is I have to keep up with the analysis and defend myself against conclusions that might not be in my interest and that's exhausting. So the questioning that goes on in that the description that goes on paradigmatic description that goes on in a lot of Discovery calls is physically exhausting for the listener often. And if that happens, they don't tell you that they've turned off, but they're no longer hearing you.
It's that cartoon where the dog is just hearing their name, blah, blah, blah, blah, Ginger, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Very famous cartoon. We're like that. And it doesn't matter how good we are at analysis, we're like that. We have more juice when we're analyzing something where there's nothing at stake other than say getting to an outcome. I used to teach something, the audience probably isn't aware of this, but I developed the Unix and the C curriculum for bell laboratories back in the early 1980s. And I taught it to establish that the curriculum was usable. I taught it to admins, to secretaries. I taught them how to program in the C programming language for those of you who, but it is still being used today, actually oddly enough, and how to use the Unix operating system, because that's what they had. That was the desktop at the time for very advanced companies.
And what I learned very quickly was in the best case in a one hour session, they could learn three things. And those three things had to be taught in three 15 minute pieces with a break in between them to recover, doing something else that had nothing to do with the physical exhaustion of trying to learn how a pointer works or whatever it happens to be. We had huge success, but I had no success when I went to four. So I couldn't teach four things in an hour, but I could easily teach three in an hour, but that doesn't mean three close to each other. And the key was always to get the affect of the class, the emotions of the class together at the same moment. So the hard bit, there's always a sticking point in understanding anything, there's an aha hiding in there somewhere, could be something that most of the class had experience and then it would give them something to talk about and we'd do a little exercise later.
So that's the analytical juice running out as well as the example you gave of the Sudoku puzzle as well. Very interesting.
We don't sell a great deal of analytical juice, trust me. It's really funny. Our brains were evolved to move our bodies and they were not evolved to think about stuff.
So that's why an ideal Discovery is probably in that 20 to 25 minutes max range or so before you've got to do use both a favor and pull up stakes and continue the conversation another time.
Exactly. And that's why I like starting them slow. No urgency. If this turns out to be important, it will turn out to have been worthwhile, to have started in a way that took a little bit more time. If it turns out to be unimportant, then nothing was at stake. So why are we worried? You could have had no meeting at all.
Well, Chris, this is great here. See all that pent up wisdom from all that scotch that you consumed in the Shortlands, and Ed and Earl, et cetera, does have a purpose. We transferred all that to energy that will help all of us on the Discovery call. I'd like to do this again. As we had talked earlier, we need to bring in a guest expert for Discovery so we can run us a couple of things and folks who are doing it in the wild and we can chat about them. But until next time, Chris, any final thoughts on Discovery here?
Well, it's one of those rare things where the name of that holds the key. We go out seeking to discover, we're curious and open minded. And if we can maintain that mindset and then learn how to help somebody else along so that they can afford to be curious. We come in curious, we have to help somebody else afford to be curious. Make it safe for them to be curious then we can discover amazing things. And that's, in my experience, where the big deals come from. I've got in my deep past, a little bit of big deal history, the hundred million deal. And those deals when I go back and deconstruct them and reconstruct them, they had these characteristics. So the slow at the beginning, the patience. I was telling somebody a story about a particular company where I went and sat in their lunchroom for two hours each day for two months and just listened and talked to people. And that led to a deal that had a lot of zeros and commas and stuff like that.
And yet when it finally happened and I went back and thought, did I waste my time sitting there talking to people? The answer was, no. It took that slowness in order to get to that certainty where we could actually explore together.
Yeah. Oh, for sure. Yeah. We have to hear about the hundred million sale, a dollar sale one of these days too. So it's great to have you back, Chris, the post honeymoon edition of the Market Dominance Guys for Chris Beal, this is Corey Frank.
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