Sales and Marketing Performance Blog

The Challenger Customer - Book Review

Posted by Mark Gibson on Mon, Nov 16, 2015

Long awaited and an even more useful book for sales enablement and marketing professionals than The Challenger Sale.

The Challenger Customer, Selling to the hidden influencers who can multiply your results” is a “must-read” for all B2B marketing, sales and sales enablement professionals.

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Topics: the challenger sale, the challenger customer

Why Prospects Lie to Salespeople and how to change their minds

Posted by Mark Gibson on Mon, Mar 26, 2012

I saw this article from Seth Godin last week "Why Lie" on why prospects lie to salespeople in another forum and commented on it. I'm not sure if you saw it, so I have referenced it below and want to add a comment and a few links to resources as I have written on this subject before.

Why lie?

"We've decided to hire someone with totally different skills than yours..." and then they hire someone just like you, but more expensive and not as good.

"We're not going to buy a car this month, my husband wants to wait..." and then you see them driving a new car from that other dealer, the one with the lousy  reputation.   

Spot the Genuine Smile

"I'm just not interested..." and then you see the new RFP, one you could have helped them write to get a more profitable and productive outcome.
People lie to salespeople all the time. We do it because salespeople have trained us to, and because we're afraid.

Prospects (people like us) lie in many situations, because when we announce that we've made the decision to hire someone else, or when we tell the pitching entrepreneur we don't like her business model, or when we clearly articulate why we're not going to do business, the salesperson responds by questioning the judgment of the prospect.

In exchange for telling the truth, the prospect is disrespected.  Of course we don't tell the truth--if we do, we're often bullied or berated or made to feel dumb.

Is it any surprise that it's easier to just avoid the conflict altogether? Of course, there's an alternative, but it requires confidence and patience on the part of the seller and marketer.

Someone who chooses not to buy from you isn't stupid. They're not unable to process ideas logically, nor are they unethical or manipulated by others.
No, it's simpler than that: 
Given what they know and what they believe, the prospect is making exactly the right decision.

We always make our decision based on what we know and believe. That's a tautology, based on the definition... a decision is the path you take based on what you know and believe, right?

The challenge, then, it seems to me, is to realize that perhaps the prospect knows something you don't, or, just as likely, doesn't believe what you believe.
Your job as a marketer is to figure out what your prospect's biases and worldview and fears and beliefs are, and as a salesperson, your job is to help them know what you know.
If you keep questioning our judgment, we're going to keep lying to you." Seth Godin, March 04, 2011.

Salespeople are paid well to Change Minds 

Great insight on the reasons why most people including you, me and all of the readers of this blog think its OK to lie to sales people. (think back to the last time you bought a car...were you perfectly honest with every salesperson you met in the process?) 

Our job as salespeople is to change minds through having insightful conversations. One of the most valuable insights in the new book by Matt Dixon and Brent Adamson, " The Challenger Sale" (TCS), is that changing minds is exactly what the most successful salespeople (The Challengers), are doing to be successful. The really great news is that anyone with appropriate coaching, enablement tools and support can do this.
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Topics: the challenger sale, hero's journey, messaging methodology

Three Must Read Books to Improve Sales and Marketing 2012 Results

Posted by Mark Gibson on Tue, Jan 03, 2012

If you haven't read these three books yet, the good news is there is still time to read them and make an impact on sales and marketing performance in 2012. Welcome back to work and have a great 2012.

The Challenger Sale

This is an important book for B2B sales and marketing and will be of interest to sales and marketing leadership as well as sales professionals. The research in this book has uncovered new insights into what works in our current B2B buying climate and debunks a lot of commonly held views and practices. 

You are going to hear a lot about the Challenger style of selling in 2012 and beyond as it is the most effective mode of selling complex B2B products and services.

The good news is that Challenger Selling is a behaviour and skill-set that can be learned and with the appropriate messaging and whiteboarding skills, anyone who wants to, can achieve Challenger Sale results.
Here you can read a more in-depth review of The Challenger Sale.

Predictable Revenue

This is a powerful little book that caught me by surprise and I have to thank co-author Marylou Tyler for sending it to me, as I am confident that it will have an impact on my own sales results in 2012.

This book is for sales VPs' or operations executives responsible for growing sales revenue.
If you are in B2B sales and your team generates inbound leads, there is a system in this book that will help you generate new business by systematically mining your cold leads far more effectively than through cold calling new prospects.

What's really exciting is that you can begin to explore this method with just one person and build it as you prove to yourself and your management team that it works.

The approach was pioneered at Salesforce.com by Aaron Ross and has been implemented very successfully at fast growing companies like HubSpot and many others. When I saw HubSpot's VP Sales, Mark Roberge endorse  Predictable Revenue on YouTube, I took notice and so should you.

Conversations that Win the Complex Sale

This book was written by a competitor of mine Tim Riesterer and co-writer Erik Peterson and I recommend it for both marketing and sales professionals wanting to differentiate their sales conversations and make more impact in sales calls.

This is Tim's second book and like his first is themed around creating messaging that drives effective sales conversations in B2B selling. I like this book for the technique and integration of well researched ideas like visual storytellingthe hero's journey, leading with a distinct point of view, creating tension and contrast.
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Topics: sales conversations, the challenger sale, predictable revenue

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