The Sales Hacker Podcast
The Sales Hacker Podcast

Episode · 3 years ago

Friday Fundamentals EP 3: Skeptics and Blockers w/ Brent Adamson, Author of The Challenger Customer

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

On this episode of Friday Fundamentals, we discuss skeptics and blockers. Identify your mobilizers. Find your skeptic: someone who tears down your idea. Find your blocker - someone who doesn't engage. How do you engage your skeptic and mobilizer? And why does this tactic matter? Brent Adamson discusses strategies to engage your skeptics and identify your blockers for better business. 

Hey everybody, it's Sam Jacobs and we're back with the sales hacker podcast and Friday fundamentals. Every Friday what we're trying to do is give you one specific tactical insight that you can take away from the podcast and really implement. Today we've got our guests from this week, Brent Adamson from Gartner, who was the coauthor, I supposed technically, of both the Challenger sale and the Challenger customer. Before we get started, we want to thank our sponsor, outreach. Outreach triples the productivity of sales teams empowers them to drive predictable and measurable revenue growth by prioritizing the right activities and scale and customer engagement. With intelligion automation. Outreach makes customer facing teams more effective and improve visibility into what really drives results. If you want to check out outreach, its outreach doto forward sales hacker. That's outreach doto forward sales haacker. Now we're talking to brand and I had a specific question for Friday fundamentals, which is in the Challenger customer there's this concept of mobilizers and then within mobilizers, and remember, if...

...you listen to this week's episode. Mobilizers are really what you need to identify, and there's three types of them, but one of the most interesting often times is this continent with a skeptic and the skeptic is a person that tears down your idea and and presents what you might sort of perceive to be a bunch of objections. Meanwhile, on the other side of things there's a totally disinterested type of person, all the blocker. So my question for you, Brent, how do you differentiate between a skeptic and a blocker? And then what are your best tactics or strategies or thought processes for how to effectively engage a skeptic to turn them into a mobilizer? You know, it's a great question, say, I'm and we get it actually all the time, which is not surprising because I think in some ways these are the two everyone's most interested in, because these are the two conversations of feel the least good. raither the blocker. I think the best way to determine who's a blocker is literally someone just won't engage at all. Right, it may feel subtle, but in fact is a significant difference between a skeptic and a blockers. A skeptic will have the conversation. They will just ask a lot of tough questions and sometimes make you even feel perhaps a little uncomfortable, hopefully not personally,...

...but at least a round your idea and and they're digging into it. But more often than not we find the reason why the skeptic is digging in is because they want to test this idea, they want to understand it before they're going to go to their colleagues and defend or propose this idea to them. They want to make sure they've got a handle on and it's possible as a result of that, your insider idea won't pass muster. But to assume, to assume that because they're asking tough questions, that that's a necessarily a bad thing is, we think, actually a mistake because in fact, ultimately I find skeptics and I meet skeptics all the time and my business of sharing ideas, because people are always picking up part our ideas, and rightly so, is that when I went over a skeptics am I've won over like a you know, a champion for life, not for me but for that idea and that's ultimately what we need to get because if skeptics are like, well, those individuals like, wow, Brent likes it, it must be great, because brant hates everything. And it's like, and we hear this sales ups all the times, like once you win over a skeptic, then you are you're in a significantly powerful, a pretty powerful position in your ability to drive...

...change. On the other hand, a blocker, you will never get that chance with a blocker because they just won't talk to you at all or very little. They'll tell you look where an execution mode. They'll tell you that there in year two of a three year planned and install a big project and they won't ask any questions. And so for the strategy for to getting a skeptic on board is to just come ready to do battle. It's like, you know two minute or when men leave, sort of thin steel cage match, but to do it in a polite, diplomatic, fun way, to define the fun in it if you can. I know that some might feel a little uncomfortable having a debate about an idea, but I think the very best sales reps this is what they get out of bed for in the morning. Is I come on, let's rumble. It's like, let's take this idea and I'll help you pull it apart. And if you're not going to ask tough question, I'll ask the tough question because I got to feel that you feel good about this for me to know that you're going to go forward with it. Whereas the strategy for the blockers totally different. It doesn't come ready girded for battle. It's just like can I find someone's willing to engage with this idea at all? And and what we're finding is that ultimately, for a blocker, you know the ind around strategies like I won't talk,...

...you won't talk to me, that I'll talk to your manager. That's like scorched earth. That's a bad place to go. So so in the book and in a lot of our work here cartainer, we actually have an entire sort of blocker mitigation strategy, sort of worksheet that we use to kind of think of like what's the step by step method of either getting around a block er getting through a blocker? It's usually surrounding them with mobilized ors if you can. But the two are very different and I think if you can find a skeptic and win them over. What a powerful place to be. Is there a way to determine if a skeptic is persuadable? Is sometimes it will take more time than you'd like, but I think it is just it is they're ultimately their posture. I think if you get them to continue asking questions, I always take that as a good sign rather than a bad one. And and if you can provide answers, and sometimes I ask a really hard question, they answer is skeptic my give you some. I'm like, Huh, okay, it's like wait, was it good or bad? I don't know, but but up you know, sometimes you can just ask. Just ask them. So it's you know to what degree you know what other questions might you have? or it feels like there's a little doubt there. What might your doubts being? Just I've always found in my career Sam of sharing...

...ideas and two particularly disruptive ideas, the single best thing to do when you feel doubt like that is, rather than run away from it, run right at it. So get that point of contention, that point of disagreement, on the table, get it out in the open and put it right there for discussion. So. So, if you like, don't bring it up because they might disagree. It's just the opposite. You bring it up because they might disagree and you got to get alignment around that idea going forward, otherwise that person won't be that mobilizer that you're hoping them to be. It makes a lot of sense, Brett. Thank you so much for participating in Friday fundamentals and for participating in the podcast earlier this week, and and thanks so much to talk to you soon. Absolutely happy Friday everyone,.

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