TALKING SALES 11: "Secrets of Selling Exposed" - John (JD) Dean

John Smibert

DareJohn Dean

In this 4 minute discussion with John Smibert,  

John (JD) Dean dares salespeople not to talk about their product or company.       "What!" I hear you say - "how do we sell a product without talking about it".

JD presents some great advice on how to engage and more effectively with your customer.

[private]JD is a revenue and growth strategist, a board member,an author and a keynote speaker

See more of the 'TALKING SALES' series here

Interview Transcript:

John: Hello, welcome back! I'm here with John Dean. JD is a revenue and growth strategist, he's a board member, author and a keynote speaker. Welcome, John!

JD: Thanks, John! What a fantastic environment for this chat!

John: Thanks, John, I recently read your new book "I Dare You".

JD: Yep.

John: Thank you for that - great book!

JD: Thank you for saying it.

John: You talk there about the "Secrets Exposed to Selling". I'd like you to share with the audience some of your thoughts around that, it's really interesting.

JD: Okay, thank you for the question. Secrets to Selling Exposed - one of the things we discovered with a lot of the salespeople that we talk to and work with is they tend to spend too much of their time talking about their product and their company. One of the founding philosophies of "I Dare You" is [01:00], I dare you not to mention your company and your product.

So, what do you mention in their place? What do you put in place of that crutch if you like, to talk to? While we have the dare, the next question is that we want you to do what we call insightful selling, which is insightful questions.

John: Right.

JD: Similar to an approach from the Challenger Sale guys, talking about being a challenger.

John: Yes.

JD: Which would be about insight. So insight, what is insight? Insight is when I talk to a prospect I want to change the way they think about their problem.

John: I think that's absolutely valid. The issue a lot of salespeople have is they talk about products.

JD: Right.

John: And what do customers do?

JD: They hate it.

John: They hate it, they can't relate to why you're talking about your product. "I've got my challenges, my issues and my business, and all you want to do is talk about your product". So that's what you're talking about.

JD: What's really interesting for most organisations' induction programme is they spend the bulk of the time teaching about the product and the company [02:00] and their process.

John: And so the salespeople expect they have to go and talk about the product.

JD: Right, exactly. If you could get a prospect in a prospect sales meeting to say either "I haven't thought about that." or "That's a good question." How do we do that? That's our main KPI for a sales call. What we do is we want to change the way they think about their problem, not their business and all the things that...

John: The way the salesperson thinks about the customer's problem.

JD: The way the customer thinks about their own problem.

John: Okay.

JD: So, if I can get you to change the way you think about it, provide some insight based on the question...

John: So a salesperson's a change agent.

JD: Completely a change agent.

John: Okay.

JD: So, we might say, for example, to a sales director the third rule; we see a lot of the third rule. A third of the team are struggling, a third of the team are okay and a third of the team are smashing it, and most sales directors sit back and they think "Yeah, you're right - that's pretty close." So, who do you spend your time with? It tends to be third that aren't doing as well, so they come back and say "Well, tell me more about the sort of work you do, etc."

So, it's providing some insight, for them to say "I haven't thought about that." or "That's a [03:00] good question." and then following up-if I can do that three or four times in an interview then I'm in good shape, I'm a thought leader.

John: And as you say in I Dare You "Don't even mention the product once!"

JD: Don't mention it at all. I dare you!

John: If you walk out of that meeting and you haven't talked about your product then you've done well.

JD: You've done very, very well.

John: I think that's the bottom line. If you've done that then you probably have got some insight from the customer, because you need to get the customer talking.

JD: Absolutely.

John: And if you get the customer talking about themselves and sharing their information then you're going to get insight.

JD: And if I've enabled them to think differently about their problem at that moment, three or four times in the meeting, then I'm a thought leader and I'm going to get return access, I'm going to get access to C level - all the other things that, a lot of those other...

John: They see you as bringing value to the table, they want to spend more time with you.

JD: Completely.

John: Great advice, John! Thank you very much, and I look forward to the next time we talk!

JD: Cheers, thank you!

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See more of the 'TALKING SALES' series here

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