SALES with ASLAN Ep. 135 – Six Habits of Highly Effective Sellers (Part 2)

Welcome to SALES with ASLAN, a weekly podcast hosted by ASLAN Co-founders Tom Stanfill and Tab Norris, geared at helping sales professionals and sales leaders eliminate the hard sell. At the end of the day, we believe that selling is serving. ASLAN helps sellers make the shift from a ‘typical’ sales approach, to one that makes us more influential because we embrace the truth that the customer’s receptivity is more important than your value prop or message.

The goal of these interviews is to spotlight various experts in the world of sales and sales leadership – sharing informational stories, techniques, and expert interviews on the sales topics you care about.

 

The following are notes from Ep. 135 – Six Habits of Highly Effective Sellers (Part 2)

In this episode, Chris White joins Tom and Tab again to continue their discussion about his best-selling book and share the habits that make or break our success when making a technical sale.

 

Listen to the conversation here:

Or check out the summary and full transcript below.

 

Summary:

Chris dives deeper into each of these six habits, continuing his conversation from the previous episode.

Habit #1: Partner (solidify the relationship between sales engineer with their sales counterpart).

Habit #2: Probe (technical discovery).

Habit #3: Prepare for meetings and demonstrations with effectiveness and efficiency in mind.

Habit #4: Practice. 

Habit #5: Perform. 

Habit #6: Perfect.

 

Resources:

 

Transcript:

00:14

Tom Stanfill

Welcome to another episode of SALES with ASLAN. I am your host, Tom Stanfill, with my trusty sidekick and the best co-host and podcast business. Mr. Tab Norris. How you doing today?

 

00:26

Tab Norris

Good. My friend. Good to be here and glad to see my friend Chris White came back, took us up on all the travel expenses we paid for him.

 

00:37

Tom Stanfill

He’s back in the building virtually, he’s back. He’s joining us virtually. Yeah. If you didn’t, if you didn’t listen to the last episode, you definitely got to go back and catch part one of this interview with Chris White, we’re talking about his new book, the Six Habits of Highly Effective Sales Engineers and Tab, we were so blown away by what he was sharing on part UNO that we had to go to part Deux. Did you notice how I just mixed two languages?

 

01:07

Tab Norris

Yes. Bring a little Hungarian in there too. Maybe. I don’t know. You’re so I love when you go travel…

 

01:17

Chris White

He mixed two languages. We’re just not sure which ones..

 

01:23

Tom Stanfill

We haven’t been as Chris on the last podcast, he’s been in sales leadership for 15 plus years. He’s been on the front lines for 10 years. He’s been an entrepreneur for four years. He’s an author, his books killing it. He’s an amazing guy. He leads, workshops, consults with businesses all over the world. He paints, he sculpts. He writes he a what else? He’s a cook. He’s a chef. He’s a Renaissance, man.

 

01:46

Chris White

I forget. I can help you with your, what was it? The skin irritation. Yeah…

 

01:50

Tab Norris

No, no. Don’t start coming into my business now, Chris, I own that market. I love it at parties.

 

01:57

Tom Stanfill

Yeah. We were talking to last pockets. We’re talking about both our doctors, Tab’s, the doctor, a doctor. I don’t know what you’re a doctor of, but just Dr. Tab Norris is what I was telling you. Chris was out of the company called the Demo Doctors. So they talk, they talked shop for… 

 

02:14

Tab Norris

I talk shop but anyway, we digress. So let’s get back on topic. Just quick reminder of the habits. We got partner, a partner, which is foundational. We’re gonna have to probe you. You said last week, the most critical of the habits, then we’re going to prepare, make sure we spend our time getting prepped and ready. We practice it a little time, click through everything, then performing. Perfect. I believe when we left off, were double clicking into perform and I’m having some really good conversations. That’s why we decided to make this a part two. Let’s just pick back up right there. Tom, you had a question. I think we stopped.

 

02:51

Tom Stanfill

Yeah. Well, I’m super interested in this perform in which for maybe the listeners is maybe just easier to talk about the presentation. It’s not the habit, but it’s when we’re, we’re on stage, we’re making the presentation. Cause I think that’s where people struggle the most. I think the other habits may even be more important because the reason that we struggle with performance because we didn’t do the other, we didn’t that we haven’t developed the other habits, which I love the point you made on part one. But, but when we get into the performed, maybe that’s where we see the problems, right. Where there’d become aware of the gaps. That’s a scary, that’s a scary thing to do. You know, we’re, we’re on stage. I’m just saying that metaphorically in most cases, but everybody’s looking at us and sometimes it’s even more difficult when we’re meeting virtually.

 

03:38

Tom Stanfill

I found it. I wanted to talk about some of the things that you shared in the book. One of the things you said is confused mind always says, no, I love.

 

03:48

Tab Norris

That. Awesome. That’s when your.

 

03:50

Tom Stanfill

Best. Well, and I’ve been known by some people to say that I can,

 

03:58

Tab Norris

It would have her say that is a wide.

 

04:02

Tom Stanfill

Blast. Might even I think the wrong. I think all of them,

 

04:06

Tab Norris

Tom telling me, just clarify when you’re, when you have the brilliance that you have, it’s just, sometimes you need a simpleton like myself, your sidekick to come alongside you and just bring it, dump it on down. Cause that’s what I do. Really what my wife tells me that all the time.

 

04:20

Tom Stanfill

I lived on it. Well, and so I’m interested to learn because I think, I think one it’s because you can either have too much information or you, and it could be either, too much or you have too much in your head. I think there’s all kinds of reasons why, we can confuse people. We may, we may start too far down in the process. We talked about the last one, but I would love, I was interested to hear from you the expert, what are some things that we can do practically to make sure that we don’t confuse people? Anything.

 

04:50

Chris White

Yeah. There’s, there’s as you, as you guys were chatting. I mean, my mind was firing in so many directions, first of all, to have, I, I have to have to say, in fact, I’m afraid to admit that what you just said is true it’s because Tom is such an expert that he confused because that’s actually true. I mean, in our first conversation together, I said another name for the book could have been, don’t let your expertise getting away and engaging with your audience. Right. We, the other thing we talked about in last comment in our last conversation was, the biggest mistake that we make, right? The, the biggest problem with your product demonstration is it’s all about your product, right? The, I think the moment we stop thinking so much about ourselves and our product and I, and our pitch and our words, and we start focusing more on the customer immediately.

 

05:48

Chris White

Some of that pressure comes off of us. Why is it that we confuse our audience, that there’s, there’s a number of, first of all, we do, we know more than most, in most cases we know more about our own sweat. Right? Exactly. And we tend to go overboard. Right? It does begin in the prepare phase. And, and again, we mentioned your recent interview with Kelly Taliban, which by the way, folks, if you, if any of you haven’t listened to that, go back and listen to that. I mean, that is just fabulous communicator. Right. By the way, guys, I mean, he had the 3d is, I don’t know if you recall, discover design and deliver, right. I mean, that’s basically habits two, three, and five out of my framework. Right. Which is pro prepare and perform. Right. Right. So, and, he talked about this and I say this to success in the presentation, success in the meeting is as much about what happens before the meeting, as it is what happens during the meeting.

 

06:57

Chris White

Right. So, so we need to make sure that we’re prepared. That being said, when we do have get that opportunity, first of all, we need to watch our audience, right. We need to keep our finger on the pulse of the audience, which admittedly is more difficult now than it was before, because we’re doing, we’re doing things through zoom and online meetings. Right. One of my rules of thumb, which I’m about to do in a minute, if I’ve heard myself talk for more than two or three minutes, I literally pushed my own pause button and seek some feedback. Right. Ask a question. Does this make sense? Right. Are you following along? It’s funny. In fact, I think Kelly said something about this idea of a journey, right. And taking people along for journey. I have analogy and it’s a silly analogy, but I, I like an, a demo to a railroad.

 

07:53

Chris White

What do I mean by railroad? Imagine you get everybody on board, the train before you leave the first station. Right? Set expectations, get everybody. Then you leave the first station. You will arrive at the next station, right? That’s your first big point that you’re trying to make you let everybody out. Take a look around, ask any questions you might want to ask. Then get everybody back on board. Before we leave that station to the next stage. Right? You bring your audience along the ride. They may like you. They may like your solution. If we lost them 15, if we left them behind 15 minutes ago, you’re talking to no one. We do not have what I like to call a technical win. That’s a critical part is this is about them. Are they still along for the journey? Right. You arrive at your destination and you’re the only one there because you’ve lost.

 

08:56

Chris White

You’ve left everyone behind.

 

09:00

Tab Norris

That’s really good.

 

09:01

Tom Stanfill

Yeah. One of the ways you talked about hitting the pause button, Chris, when you two and you’re talking for a certain credit Tom thing that I try to remind myself and I’m in a presentation. Even I do this, even when I’m in any situation as monologue, not dialogue, not monologue is that we get into this monologue. Like somebody says something, Hey, tell me about your process. Tell me about your process. Tell me about this. And so then we go, great. Here’s my 10 minutes. Here’s two minutes. Whatever it is a minute’s a long time on your process versus, well, you guys have a, we start at this stage, right? So how are you? You’re you guys are probably doing this well, this is how it works. Or you’re currently doing this. You get a little feedback. You kind of continue this dialogue versus this monologue.

 

09:49

Tom Stanfill

That ensures people that are on the train.

 

09:52

Chris White

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. If I may allow me to give three very specific techniques, very specific soundbites number are all around this whole notion of not confusing your audience. Number one, explain, but don’t overexplain. Make your, make your point and move on. Number two, don’t assume they know your terminology and in reverse, don’t assume you understand theirs. And number three. I, and I, I ask all the people that I, that go through my workshops, please. The next time you’re giving a presentation, a demonstration, please slow down.

 

10:36

Tom Stanfill

Right?

 

10:37

Chris White

There are, there are no bonus points for speed.

 

10:41

Tom Stanfill

Again.

 

10:43

Chris White

Why, why do we rush through right? Because we’re, first of all, we probably showed up to the meeting with too much to say.

 

10:49

Tom Stanfill

That for me.

 

10:52

Chris White

Too many slides, right. We’re trying to do too much with too little, right. We’re trying to make sure that we get all that our points in, right? Those three things will keep people along for the journey.

 

11:04

Tab Norris

It’s really good. That’s really good. I, I, there was something else around performed that I wanted to double click into. I mean, Tom, are you done? You want to dig any more on that concept?

 

11:15

Tom Stanfill

I wanted to say something about the don’t over explain real quick, because I think there’s a concept. That’s helpful. We talk about it internally as a Turkey thermometer, Like when a Turkey is done, that thing kicks up. That little red thing clicks that. We always kind of think of like, you’ve explained it, do they get it? You can, that’s where you watch the body language. Like we got. Cause we get excited about telling them all the things we know about something and like, and a lot of times, and I’m on the other end of a lot of presentations. A lot of times I’m looking for a one word answer. I’m not looking this, isn’t a topic that I want you to expound on. I just need to know, are you global? If the answer is yes, then I want to say this back to monologue.

 

11:53

Tom Stanfill

Not now the answer is that I need to say, well, how many countries are you in? And they say three. Does any, do you want to know which ones? I’d say, no, I just want to know if you’re in France or whatever. Cause I speak two languages, obviously. That’s, I just wanted to have an idea of Turkey thermometer of like when they get it, move on.

 

12:15

Chris White

Yeah. Well, if I may, so I have two quick thoughts on that. Number one, the mistake that we made, the reason we tend to go deeper is we get to one of those aha moments as I like to call. It seems as though it’s not resonating and what do we do? We go deeper. We explain, let me say it in a different way. Right. Versus just saying, folks, it seems like that may not. What I just showed is actually reasonably important. Did the significance of that come through right?

 

12:44

Tom Stanfill

The dialoguing,

 

12:46

Chris White

Right? The second thing that comes to mind is I call it my checkdown system also known as a three V’s when somebody asks a question, the mistake, a lot of particularly sales engineers make, can the, the solution do such and such? Oh my goodness. Yes. Let me show you click, click, click. And, and the person, after five minutes the person says, so the answer was yes.

 

13:11

Tab Norris

Right? That’s your point, Tom. That’s exactly right.

 

13:15

Chris White

So, so what’s my check. What’s the checkdown system. Somebody asks, what are these questions? Verbal response. First that a simple, yes. We’ll oftentimes do it now. Now maybe they want more, like, well, could we see it? Just show them visual evidence. Right. They just need to see a dropdown, right? Yeah. Can we see how it actually works? Well now I have a decision to make, is it, is this an important point in the conversation, right? Maybe then, and only then do I go into vivid detail, but we, if it’s warranted verbal response, visual evidence, vivid detail. Love.

 

13:55

Tab Norris

It. That’s really good. That’s.

 

13:57

Tom Stanfill

Good.

 

13:58

Tab Norris

Yeah. I was funny. I was, I was in a, out with a rep not long ago and I was watching, this was, obviously this was right before COVID, but were in person, in a conference room and the person was getting all fired up and doing their thing and did exactly what you’re talking about. There was no check. Then I’m sitting there the back watching. Good. Please check. Please check. Because I could feel it. I could feel people just kind of going, I’m lost and we get done. The guy in the back raised his and he just, he’s just, I don’t even know how long you went, but he went a long time. It was very technical. And the guy raised his hand. He said, Hey, can we go back to that first point that you said, I just started laughing? Like I E I didn’t hear anything you just said for the last 12 minutes.

 

14:43

Chris White

Exactly. You w you lost me. You left me at the first day trade.

 

14:47

Tab Norris

The train came off, dropped off the tracks.

 

14:50

Tom Stanfill

He goes, I hope that comes back. Yeah,

 

14:52

Tab Norris

I know. I know. That’s.

 

14:53

Tom Stanfill

Good. That’s beautiful. All right. Chad, you said you had a question about,

 

14:59

Tab Norris

Yeah. There was something that performed that I was very curious about and, I’m a delivery guy, of course I sell, but I spent a lot of my time doing, delivery, classroom delivery. I’m fascinated what delivery, whether it’s sales engineer, or a trainer, as far as effective delivery goes, because you’ve worked with a wide range of folks, can it be learned? You know what I mean? Do you have any insights on that? Because, I mean, I live in this dilemma all the time. Talk to me.

 

15:30

Tom Stanfill

Yeah. It’s like, you almost want to think of like care. Can you teach people to be charismatic? Or is that like, they born with that because it’s easy to teach them content.

 

15:39

Tab Norris

Yep.

 

15:41

Chris White

Yeah. I, first of all, this is a question I’ve been asking myself probably for a decade plus tab, and I’ve come to believe that the answer is yes. Now let me be very clear about a couple of things. Okay. Standing in front of a room and talking has always come naturally to me. And it’s probably obvious to the listeners. They can’t see me, but I’m one of these guys that waves his hands and gets all excited and animated. And, but the key point there’s, I think there’s two or three key points. The first is you have to be authentically yourself. Do not. I think, I think the problem that people tend to have is they try to be somebody else and they, and as a result, they’re not natural and it comes across in all things.

 

16:38

Tom Stanfill

We’re drawn to authenticity, not just RA charisma.

 

16:43

Chris White

Exactly. I, and I, again, Kelly talked about this idea of the difference between, I think he said, are you communication oriented or performance oriented, right. Are you thinking about yourself and your words and how you’re coming across, or you sincerely thinking about the client or the customer or the audience. Right. What’s important to them and staying plugged into their temperature right. And where they are. So, so I actually, those two, so first of all, if you’re monotone or if you’re more, laid back and you’re, did you be yourself? Honestly, guys, I actually don’t have the best sense of humor. Right? Like I can say funny things in the moment, but if I try to be funny, I fail miserably. Right. So that’s just.

 

17:29

Tab Norris

You don’t open with a joke, typically magic trick.

 

17:33

Chris White

I mean, well, actually I do a magic trick.

 

17:43

Tom Stanfill

I do like back somersault. I do a back somersault before I.

 

17:47

Chris White

Start, but I think we just need to be authentic. We need to be comfortable being our authentic self. Number one,

 

17:55

Tom Stanfill

We got a park on that we need to just let that marinate for a second, because that is, I think we all get a picture in our mind of what good presentation looks like. And then we try to become that. And I’m guilty of that. I think about, well, how would they do it? I fill in how would so-and-so do it? I, then the next following thought I have is, well, I can’t do it that well. Or I can’t be them. And I wasn’t created to be built. I think the audience, if we, and again, this makes us this, the hero of the story and not the customer. If the listeners, the hero of the story, they’re going to be engaged. We’re focused on the picture of us versus the picture of them. It’s like, we’re looking at our Instagram picture saying I don’t like that.

 

18:40

Tom Stanfill

They’re going, I don’t even look at it. You’re only, I’m looking at my Instagram picture. I think that, I think that’s really,

 

18:47

Chris White

You wouldn’t, you know, Tom I’m inspired. I didn’t expect to share the story, but I’m inspired to share the story of very good friend of mine, who I literally, I went to, I went to youth group, youth group with him in junior high school. Just the closest of friends, our entire lives. He called me a few years ago because his, I can’t remember. It was older. Her, one of his sons was getting married and he was going to be asked to speak at the wedding. And he speaks with a stutter. He called me and he said, he said, this is one of the many moments in my life that I wish I was Chris white. He said, I’ve got to speak at this event. He said, do you have any advice for me? I said, Todd, I have, I have two pieces of advice. I said, first and foremost, do not try to be Chris white, just be Todd.

 

19:41

Chris White

Rich is his name is obviously I’m now. I’ll have to share this with him. I said, number two, just speak from your heart. Like, what just don’t you don’t have to worry about the words. If you just listened to what’s in your heart and speak, what’s in your heart. Now this is going beyond a sales conversation. Right. He called me the week after the wedding. He was like, I don’t know how I did it, but he’s said, you told me exactly what I needed to hear. I stood up and I gave the speech of my life and, and he’s like, I’m not even sure I stuttered, ? So,

 

20:19

Tab Norris

No, it’s awesome because that means he did what you said. He took his eyes off of himself and he put them on his audience right on, he focused on his heart and what he was really trying to accomplish. So that’s really powerful.

 

20:32

Tom Stanfill

Oh man, that’s a movie story that fits me. Cause I would be super nervous in those situations, like where it’s a personal thing. Like I had to do a eulogy at a funeral recently and it’s like, man, it’s cause don’t want to blow that or you don’t want to. It’s just, but it’s so easy to make it about you.

 

20:52

Chris White

Right.

 

20:53

Tom Stanfill

Make it about whoever you’re honoring or whatever the customer, it’s just, it’s such an gravitational pull, which goes back to prepare. That’s where we got to make the decision that it is not about us. It’s about them. That is so basic, but it’s so rare.

 

21:11

Chris White

Okay. Yes. Yeah. W w when we talk about prepare, like there’s, I said, there’s three categories of mistakes, right. There’s under preparing. Right. We just wishing to show up and wing it. Right.

 

21:21

Tom Stanfill

Yeah.

 

21:22

Chris White

Right. There’s over-preparing what do I mean by overbearing 75 slides for a 30 minute conversation, right. There’s focus, are we focusing on us or are we focusing on them? If I may guys I’d love to go back to tabs question. Cause his question was around presentations and delivery. Can it be learned? There’s actually one other thing that I’ve loved to share.

 

21:49

Tab Norris

On that, get yourself.

 

21:52

Chris White

Out. That it’d be authentically yourself shift the focus from yourself to them. Yeah. Right. Yep. The other thing that came to mind for me tab is, and it took me a while to articulate this. One of the things that makes for an ineffective presentation is the, and and all the filler words. Right. I’ve had a lot of people ask me, how do I get rid of the filler words? I, and I turn it around on them. I said, well, what is it that causes the filler words? And I finally have answer. The mouth gets in front of the brain. You want to, you want to stop having, you want to stop with the ums and the AHS, put the mouth behind the brain in order and let them let the brain discover the word before the mouth has permission to use it.

 

23:05

Tom Stanfill

Yeah. I love it.

 

23:08

Tab Norris

That’s true.

 

23:10

Tom Stanfill

I think, I think goose is really important to say too, at this stage, it’s a lot of people are hearing this go. Yeah, I get it. But I can’t do it. Or it’s hard. Or do I have a lot of fear associated with this? I just wanna encourage people that I I’m in the speaking business basically. Right. I mean, I got, when I, before this business, I would not be able to sleep for three weeks. If I had to talk to ten eighth graders. That is the, that is the truth. I mean, I remember I had a little talk to the 10 acres. I didn’t even know. I couldn’t sleep for weeks because I was so nervous about it. There is a truth, or maybe when you speak, you can, Chris, you can speak to this tab. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this is to, there is a process of getting over this, like what you just said about letting your brain lead and then let your mouth fall.

 

24:01

Tom Stanfill

The reason we don’t probably do that is because we’re nervous and we’re just uncomfortable. There is a process that we need to go through of putting ourselves out there and being uncovered because that’s one of the reasons we don’t change is because now we’re going to be uncomfortable. Like if I do my 34 slides and I say the same thing, every time I’m going to be comfortable, it won’t go well, but I’m going to be comfortable. And I’m going to start applying this. I probably going to fail . Should I just be cool with that and just embrace that and just be okay with that and just know that, or is there any ways to shortcut fat?

 

24:38

Chris White

I mean, a couple of thoughts come to mind. I think, I think the first one I’m probably the most significant one is let’s think about why do people get nervous? I think it’s because they’re afraid of what people are thinking about them when they stumble on their words and the truth. Again, the truth is if we’re authentic and if we’re sincerely and we demonstrate clearly that we’re sincerely there for them, for their benefit and we’re making every attempt to communicate for their benefit. They give us the benefit of the doubt.

 

25:15

Tom Stanfill

Yeah. They can tell that we’re authentic. I’ve also found that I will actually, it helps me if I’m super nervous because it’s so much writing on a presentation, which is funny. I get more nervous when I’m doing it for someone else. Like, one of our key people brings me in and says, win this deal for me. I’m like, oh, I don’t wanna blow it for John. I I’m here for John. I don’t want to blow it. If I blow this, I’m blowing this for John. You know, that’s where I feel. I’ll say sometimes when I get that, I start to feel those flutters is I’ll just come out in the meeting and say, look, my goal today is to help you make the best decision. I’m going to share what we’ve learned from other companies where they’re on the same journey. My goal is to share what I’ve learned about this and what the best practices are of those people that have solved this problem that are similar to you.

 

26:07

Tom Stanfill

It’s not the wind, it’s not the one your business. I want your business, but that’s not my goal today because I’m going to be, I’ll probably have a better shot at you working with me. If I just tell you what I know about this, it’s all say something along those lines and my nervousness goes away and I feel like they kind of relax.

 

26:24

Chris White

Yeah. Can I share a bit of an aha moment with you? That feeling that you just mentioned, that the pressure of having to present on somebody else’s deal that is precisely the world that the sales engineer lives in as true. That is what we do. We are brought in by the account executive to give the demonstration that they are counting on to close the deal. That is precisely where we live.

 

26:55

Tom Stanfill

Yeah. I probably play more of the role of sales engineer.

 

26:59

Chris White

Because you’re an expert.

 

27:00

Tom Stanfill

In the Asalyn world. So I feel that.

 

27:03

Tab Norris

Yeah. Yeah. That’s really good. Yeah. And I, I, I agree with you. I, I think the I’m just talking, I can just only share my experience. It’s either that, which is huge or I didn’t prepare properly. That’s why I’m nervous.

 

27:17

Tom Stanfill

For you.

 

27:18

Chris White

For.

 

27:18

Tab Norris

Me. Like, I, I see, I, I, I feel pretty, usually feel pretty comfortable speaking, which can be a problem. I can be like, oh, I have, this will be great. I’ll just make them happy. I’ll make them, I’ll make them laugh a little, this is going to be awesome. I’ll start, I’ll share these three stories. They’ll love it. I get in front of people that just sit there and stare at me. If I hadn’t prepared for the seven engineers that are on the front row and I’m like, oh gosh, this isn’t working, versus going prepare for your worst case scenario. So I think they’re both sides. Cause Tom, and I know you’re like that. Cause you and I, in the early days, remember he used to spend a lot of time on that. I knew you would be very nervous there. And so, you know,

 

28:00

Tom Stanfill

Yeah. And tab would help me. I’m more of an over preparer, but I do think there’s people that have more of a, almost like a phobia than just rational. Just knowing like people have claustrophobic, you can’t just say, look, there’s no, you can’t logically solve the claustrophobia. Right. People have a real phobia about standing, so their body takes over. For people that, at that level of fear, they actually just have to keep doing it and starting small and pushing themselves. Cause then eventually they’ll get comfortable in this awkward stage.

 

28:38

Chris White

If I may, there’s a, there’s one other quick thing that I’ve heard in that context. I heard this gentleman said this years ago, he said, somebody asked him, do you ever get nervous before you speak? And, and similar to Kelly, I mean, I’ve spoken at, audience of 500 plus, and this individual said, well, let me ask you what are the physical manifestations of nerves and being nervous, right? Sweaty palms, you sorta get that. That’s, that, that feeling in your stomach, your heart rate starts to beat higher. What is the fear? What is the physical manifestation of being excited? Sweaty pong. You get that feeling in your stomach starts faster, right? So, so you can make the mental shift. Am I nervous? Or am I excited? Right. Again, it’s just the way in which we interpret,

 

29:33

Tom Stanfill

Interpreted differently. Put it, put it, leverage that to be a positive thing. Not a negative thing.

 

29:39

Chris White

Exactly.

 

29:41

Tom Stanfill

I got one other, I got to talk to you about this one topic that was mentioned in the book because I’ve I, when I read it, I’m like, oh, this is brilliant because I’ve had this question as to me, I don’t know how many times when I’m leading a workshop or working with sellers, it’s when people ask questions that are way off topic and how do I, and some people just have a, a natural talent of knowing how to work a room or navigate this awkward situation where somebody asks you a weird question or way off topic. They just kind of charmingly know how to do that. You’ve provided a model for how do you respond to questions that you’re asked? I’d love for you to explain the four types of questions. The four D response, I guess, is what you call it the four day response for the types of questions that you get.

 

30:34

Tom Stanfill

I would love to learn about that. Cause I’m like I pencil in hand and I want to write down what you tell me.

 

30:40

Chris White

I’m delighted to. If I may allow me to preface it with, I say, I said this in the book, I say this in the workshops. I actually believe that the way in which we respond to questions may actually make or break the deal period. That’s why we know what we’re coming in with. Right? Like we know what we have to question is what are they throwing at? Right. Right, right. And, and more importantly, when they ask a question, right, they have a reasonably good idea that you may or may not have prepared for that. They’re getting you at your most authentic, right? Like their most pure,

 

31:23

Tom Stanfill

Which is so the why is so important to speak the truth, which could be, I don’t know.

 

31:29

Chris White

Exactly.

 

31:31

Tom Stanfill

We can’t.

 

31:32

Chris White

So, so let me touch on the, for these, I know we’re nearing the end of our time together. I actually, particularly for the difficult questions, I encourage people just assess the question in two ways. Number one, assess the individual, asking the question in terms of their importance to the deal. Are they, are they a key decision maker or they bought from down the hall who heard that, Hey, some technology company was in town to give a debt work, stood up a zoom and I don’t have anything better to do. I’ll just come and join the meeting. Right?

 

32:07

Tom Stanfill

They’re.

 

32:08

Chris White

They’re not a key influencer. Number one, number two, assess the question in terms of, is it in scope? Ideally we’ve begun our, our meeting by setting some context, right? This is, this is our expectations. This is where you’re at. If you think about that in an X, Y matrix there in lies, four quadrants quadrant, number one is question, and it’s not a finite model. There’s gray area. Question quadrant, number one is questions asked by a non-key player. That’s out of scope. Okay. The mistake that we make here is we spend 10 minutes answering that question to everyone’s dismay.

 

32:52

Tab Norris

Oh, I’ve done that. That hurts a little bit. Why, why did he take the bait on that?

 

33:00

Tom Stanfill

I love that. Yeah. Well what about the instructional design process that was built? Yeah. Right. And then everyone,

 

33:12

Chris White

Even his and her colleagues are thinking for crying out loud, Bob like really.

 

33:19

Tab Norris

Well.

 

33:20

Chris White

So, so, and some people are a little uncomfortable with this and I can appreciate why, but as quickly and politely as possible, I dismiss those questions. Gee, Bob, interesting question. Not sure that was something were planning on talking about. I’ll turn it back to the folks. This something we should spend some time?

 

33:40

Tom Stanfill

Really you get the group to kill the question. Yeah.

 

33:44

Chris White

Right. Where the typical, where the may, the main person, right. The leader, is more likely going to turn the bus at Bob. We don’t have to talk to them. Now, if the leader says,

 

33:55

Tom Stanfill

Interrupt, you did you.

 

33:58

Chris White

Right? By the way, so if the leader says, well, actually, Chris, Bob brings up a good point like this is something that we should now. Now it’s in a different quadrant.

 

34:11

Tom Stanfill

That’s beautiful. Right?

 

34:13

Chris White

Like different, okay, Bob, same person asks a question. Maybe it’s and it’s in scope, but maybe it’s just, it’s not particularly well timed. To go there right now is really gonna throw us all off of our, I will just politely defer that question, Bob. Great question. Really glad. Just, if I could trouble you to hold that for just a minute. I, I am sure I’ll cover that, but keep me honest. If I don’t cover that to everyone’s satisfaction. Look, let’s come back.

 

34:41

Tom Stanfill

First is dismiss. The other ones differ.

 

34:43

Chris White

First is dismissed. Second quadrant three is what I call the quadrant of challenge. Key decision maker asks a question out of scope. This sounds like a new requirement. The mistake we make here is we try to BS our way through answer completely and totally unprepared. Right? I get this, I get this question. I fall back into discovery. Oh Mike. Good. Glad you asked. I don’t know if that’s come up until, could I trouble you to elaborate on, the importance and significance of that compared to some of the other things we’ve talked about?

 

35:16

Tom Stanfill

That’s great. That’s great.

 

35:17

Tab Norris

That’s really good.

 

35:19

Tom Stanfill

That’s because if you don’t do that, you’re in trouble. You’re you’re.

 

35:24

Tab Norris

You just start making stuff up. You start just sounding like an idiot. I’m not, I’ve never done that. I’ve never known that as a doctor,

 

35:31

Tom Stanfill

Eating with Turner network early in the days of Asalyn tab. I walk in on topic is sales training off topic is customer service training, which I don’t offer.

 

35:43

Tab Norris

She.

 

35:43

Tom Stanfill

Asks the decision-maker quadrant three. She goes, do you provide customer service training? Instead of saying, why do you ask, look, tell me that it wasn’t what were talked about. We talked about we’re going to do inside sales training, blah, blah, blah. Why do you ask? I lucked into, I tried to make up a customer service training in the meeting.

 

36:08

Tab Norris

Yeah. That’s easy to do. What are your four modules? Well serve and love and hug. And I got one other one. I don’t know what it is right now.

 

36:23

Tom Stanfill

It’s funny about that. Fire alarm goes off and it saves me, but I, the damage was done.

 

36:33

Chris White

And here’s the best thing to right. Oftentimes like you’ll do some disco. You’ll say, could I tell you to elaborate the way actually? You know what? Nevermind. It’s okay. I was just curious, right, man, I did not have a good answer. Right? So I completely dodged book. All right. Quadrant number four, same key person. Mary asks a question in scope. The mistake that we make, maybe Mary’s question is not particularly well timed, according to my plan, the agenda. Right? And to see, to go there. Now, it’s going to take me off of my flow, right? The mistake that we made,

 

37:10

Tom Stanfill

Slide eight in your own slides,

 

37:12

Chris White

We make the mistake of, Mary, could I trouble you to hold that question? What have we just done? We’ve told the most important person that our agenda is more important than her question that,

 

37:23

Tom Stanfill

Right?

 

37:24

Chris White

By the way, this may be the only thing she cares about. She has to leave in five minutes. Right? We get this question key from the key player, key decision maker in scope, we direct all of our attention to that question right now and answer it to his or her full satisfaction questions. I dismiss politely. Some questions deserve some discovery. Some questions deserve our direct attention right now.

 

37:54

Tab Norris

Oh, that’s I think that’s a perfect finish for us, Tom.

 

37:59

Tom Stanfill

That was that’s worth the 15.99 right there or whatever.

Of course that’s the Kindle version, I think. That is, that is such a great model. I’ve been doing this for over 25 years and I, I learned how to do that today. Guys, this guy, this man right here, Dr. Chris White it’s associate.

 

38:25

Tab Norris

Let’s do, let’s go, let’s move down another in the audience.

 

38:31

Tom Stanfill

He’s listened to our show.

 

38:34

Tab Norris

Thank you so much. This was fantastic.

 

38:43

Chris White

It’s been a pleasure. Of course, thank you for all you do. And all you’ve done. It’s really made literally all the difference in my life and my career. So thank you.

 

38:51

Tom Stanfill

Yeah. We love having you on the team level, learning from you to love, partnering with you. Thanks for joining us, giving us your time and that’s show another wrap tab of the, the latest episode of SALES with ASLAN. If you guys find this helpful, please give us comments, likes, give us feedback. It helps us improve and also lets us know that what we’re doing is important. Thanks for listening.

ASLAN teaches sellers an easier, better way to gain access & influence unreceptive customers, by eliminating the hard sell.

Leave a Comment





About ASLAN

The best way to get to know us is to know what we value. If we teach it we live it, because what we do speaks far more eloquently than what we say. We’ll always choose people over profits, and we’re most fulfilled and effective when we serve. It drives our culture, frames our training programs and transforms the lives of the clients we partner with.