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


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 andwe're back with the sales hacker podcast and Friday fundamentals. Every Friday what we'retrying to do is give you one specific tactical insight that you can take awayfrom 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 teamsempowers them to drive predictable and measurable revenue growth by prioritizing the right activitiesand scale and customer engagement. With intelligion automation. Outreach makes customer facing teamsmore effective and improve visibility into what really drives results. If you want tocheck out outreach, its outreach doto forward sales hacker. That's outreach doto forwardsales haacker. Now we're talking to brand and I had a specific question forFriday fundamentals, which is in the Challenger customer there's this concept of mobilizers andthen within mobilizers, and remember, if... 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 skepticand the skeptic is a person that tears down your idea and and presents whatyou might sort of perceive to be a bunch of objections. Meanwhile, onthe other side of things there's a totally disinterested type of person, all theblocker. So my question for you, Brent, how do you differentiate betweena skeptic and a blocker? And then what are your best tactics or strategiesor thought processes for how to effectively engage a skeptic to turn them into amobilizer? You know, it's a great question, say, I'm and weget it actually all the time, which is not surprising because I think insome ways these are the two everyone's most interested in, because these are thetwo conversations of feel the least good. raither the blocker. I think thebest 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 differencebetween a skeptic and a blockers. A skeptic will have the conversation. Theywill just ask a lot of tough questions and sometimes make you even feel perhapsa little uncomfortable, hopefully not personally,...

...but at least a round your ideaand and they're digging into it. But more often than not we find thereason 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 anddefend or propose this idea to them. They want to make sure they've gota handle on and it's possible as a result of that, your insider ideawon't pass muster. But to assume, to assume that because they're asking toughquestions, that that's a necessarily a bad thing is, we think, actuallya mistake because in fact, ultimately I find skeptics and I meet skeptics allthe time and my business of sharing ideas, because people are always picking up partour ideas, and rightly so, is that when I went over askeptics 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 getbecause if skeptics are like, well, those individuals like, wow, Brentlikes it, it must be great, because brant hates everything. And it'slike, and we hear this sales ups all the times, like once youwin over a skeptic, then you are you're in a significantly powerful, apretty 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 justwon't talk to you at all or very little. They'll tell you look wherean execution mode. They'll tell you that there in year two of a threeyear planned and install a big project and they won't ask any questions. Andso for the strategy for to getting a skeptic on board is to just comeready to do battle. It's like, you know two minute or when menleave, sort of thin steel cage match, but to do it in a polite, diplomatic, fun way, to define the fun in it if youcan. I know that some might feel a little uncomfortable having a debate aboutan idea, but I think the very best sales reps this is what theyget 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 itapart. And if you're not going to ask tough question, I'll ask thetough question because I got to feel that you feel good about this for meto know that you're going to go forward with it. Whereas the strategy forthe blockers totally different. It doesn't come ready girded for battle. It's justlike can I find someone's willing to engage with this idea at all? Andand what we're finding is that ultimately, for a blocker, you know theind around strategies like I won't talk,... won't talk to me, thatI'll talk to your manager. That's like scorched earth. That's a bad placeto go. So so in the book and in a lot of our workhere cartainer, we actually have an entire sort of blocker mitigation strategy, sortof worksheet that we use to kind of think of like what's the step bystep method of either getting around a block er getting through a blocker? It'susually surrounding them with mobilized ors if you can. But the two are verydifferent 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 askeptic 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 thinkif you get them to continue asking questions, I always take that as a goodsign rather than a bad one. And and if you can provide answers, and sometimes I ask a really hard question, they answer is skeptic mygive you some. I'm like, Huh, okay, it's like wait, wasit good or bad? I don't know, but but up you know, sometimes you can just ask. Just ask them. So it's you knowto what degree you know what other questions might you have? or it feelslike there's a little doubt there. What might your doubts being? Just I'vealways 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, ratherthan run away from it, run right at it. So get that pointof contention, that point of disagreement, on the table, get it outin 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 justthe opposite. You bring it up because they might disagree and you got toget alignment around that idea going forward, otherwise that person won't be that mobilizerthat 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 thepodcast earlier this week, and and thanks so much to talk to you soon. Absolutely happy Friday everyone,.

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