5.0 out of 5 stars
Why you should read this book
Reviewed in the United States on May 23, 2020
A word of warning to those of you purchasing the audio version... Don't listen to this before bed! Keenan is very energetic, and he'll get you jacked and ready to sell something. Then again, maybe that's a good thing...
As sales continues to evolve and become more focused on technology, salespeople forget the fundamental pillars of effective selling. Gap Selling provides a framework for gaining your prospect's attention, getting them to trust you enough to tell you about their problems and provide you with a vision for their ideal future state.
Here are my biggest takeaways:
1. At the heart of every sale, there’s a gap. It’s a gap between what buyers have now and what they believe they want in the future, between who they are now and who they want to be tomorrow, or even where they are now and where they want to go. This gap represents the value of the sale to the buyer and the salesperson. Without it, there is no sale.
2. Problems get you to the impact and the impact is where urgency, value, and need live and where the sale takes root. You have to know the problem your buyers and prospects are struggling with and the impact it’s having on them. Without it, there is no sale.
3. The worst thing in the world you can do at the beginning of a sale is to take your buyer’s word for granted or sell to a need. I know it’s what we’ve been taught to do but a need assumes the customers know what they want, and that’s a bad assumption. Sure, they think they know what their problem is, but what if they’re wrong?
4. Customers Don’t Like Change. However, Every sale is about change. Change is emotional. Therefore, every sale is emotional. And emotions are complicated. That, in a nutshell, explains why selling is so hard and why so many people are bad at it.
5. Knowing your customer’s intrinsic motivation allows you to solve for the problems your customers didn’t know they had. Getting to the bottom of your customers’ intrinsic motivation for change takes time and patience. And sometimes it’s frustrating, because in the process you may discover that your product can’t provide the exact solution they need. So you will have to learn to dig deep and not give up your line of questioning until you thoroughly understand the driving force behind your customer’s motivation to change.
6. There is a direct correlation between how much a salesperson knows about their buyer’s current state and the probability they will win the deal. The majority of the information and elements you need to influence the sale come from understanding exactly where your buyer is today, what they are dealing with, how they’re operating, who’s involved, why it’s happening, the outcomes they’re currently experiencing and more—all part of the current state.
7. Your number one job when selling is to get the customer, buyer, or prospect to let you help them. No matter what you’re selling, until you can get buyers to trust you enough to be vulnerable, open up, share information, offer you insight into their current state, and expressly ask you for your help, you will not make progress. Customers have to be ready to initiate and embrace this sales journey, or ain’t nothing gonna happen.
8. Selling is a giving profession. Every time you engage with a customer, or send an email, or create something, you have to ask yourself, “What am I giving?” The answer should be “industry information,” or “insight into the market,” or “tips that will make their jobs easier,” or “the solution to a problem they haven’t been able to solve.” It should never be, “More information about myself.”
9. Problems are only problems when the impact is negative and uncomfortable. So, knowing the problem and the impact it’s having matters. Keep this firmly in mind: You’re never selling a product. You’re selling the impact your product will have on your buyer’s current environment. You’re selling change.
10. The gap is rarely clear to buyers initially. The win then becomes your ability to expose and shape the gap. Salespeople can manipulate the size of the gap by helping the buyer see things they didn’t see before. There is no way customers can understand the value of your life-saving pill if they don’t realize they are dying. That’s why you have to spend so much time exploring their current state and helping them envision their future state. Unlike a traditional salesperson, you’re not going to accept their problems at face value and then offer a solution. Instead, you’re going to help your customers make sure they understand the full extent of their problems and let them figure out for themselves what will happen if they don’t do something about it.
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