The Sales Engagement Podcast
The Sales Engagement Podcast

Episode · 2 years ago

What is Experience Asymmetry? And 3 Ways to Overcome It w/ David Priemer


“Unless you’re Oprah or Barack Obama, no one cares what you think.”

There’s often a gap in experience between sales reps and the people they are trying to sell to.

This can lead to prospects feeling like they are being told how to do things by someone who has no business trying to tell them anything. Fortunately, David Priemer has spent his career studying proven practices to overcome this gap.

David is the Founder and Chief Sales Scientist of Cerebral Selling a company dedicated to helping reps, leaders, and their organizations supercharge their growth through understanding the science of sales.

On this episode of The Sales Engagement Podcast, David explains what experience asymmetry is and 3 ways your sales reps can overcome it to increase their credibility.

Welcome to the sales engagement podcast.This podcast is brought to you by outreach dot ioh, the leading sales engagementplatform helping companies, sellers and customer success engaged with buyers and customers in themodern sales era. Check out sales engagementcom for new episodes resources in the bookon sales engagement coming soon. Now let's get into today's episode. Hey everybody, thanks for joining us for the sales engagement podcast. I'm your host,Jovi Nolo, senior managing editor over it outreach, and we have an incredibleguest back on the show today, David Pramer with cerebral selling. The firstepisode was a big hit. The second episode is going to be even abigger head, so you're going to want to stick around for this one.He's back on the show to talk about something called experience, a symmetry.You may not know what that means, but you've probably dealt with it.Before we jump into that, I'm going to toss it on over to Davidto introduce himself and tell us a little bit about his background. David,Oh, it's great. Look, Joe, it's scrapey back on the podcast andI had a really great time the first time I was here. It'sgreat. People don't know this if you're listening online. We do this overa video and so I get a chance to stare at Joe and his hughgrant charming manner, isn't so? That's probably the best part of this podcastfor me anyways. But no, it's it's great to be back. AsI mentioned on the first podcast, I call myself in the founder and chiefsales scientist over here at cerebral selling. By means of a quick background,I started my career as a research scientist over twenty years ago, ended upgetting into sales by accident, like most of us did at the turn ofthecom boom. Ended up in a career in sales. That spend twenty years, which I was so grateful for, work for some really great organizations.Primarily spent my time across four startups. Three of those startups ended up gettingacquired one night, which I helped start ten years ago, as acquired bysales force, where I got to spend five amazing years seeing how the salesmachines were built at scale. But ultimately,...

...the thing I love to do mostin the world is learn, and I also love to teach, andso I found that for me, sales was this amazing, you know,subject area where you could really dive in. There were so much nuance, therewere so much amazing reward for solving this problem we call modern selling,and so I could not think of anything better to do with the second halfof my career than teach the next generation. So that's what they do now throughmy practice of cerebral selling and if you're lucky enough to be taught byDavid, he has some incredible views on empathy and sales. It's a bigone, but today we going to be talking about something called experience a symmetry. Before we kind of get what what? What is that? What are youtalking about? Yeah, I made it up, so you know,that's that's on me. But no, the idea behind experience a symmetry,you know, typically refers to it in balance, right. That's the ideabehind a symmetry. There's an embalance. And you know, one of thethings I observed, I'm kind of like a sales observer, like almost likea passenger on the sales ride, is that so much of sales involves ayounger, less experienced salesperson calling on a more experienced decisionmaker whose job they've neverdone. Okay, so if I'm a BDR, I'm even a sales tripand I'm selling my solution to, you know, VP's of sales and marketing. Okay. Well, look, I've never been a VP or sales ofmarketing before, right, so there's that is a symmetry. I could beselling my solution to, you know, doctors, or I could be sellingmy solution to freelance artists and like, I've never been one of those thingsbefore. And so the idea is that there's an asymmetry, there's an imbalanceand part of the challenge in modern selling is that if you can't overcome thatin balance, it's gonna be very, very difficult to sell your solution anddeliver your pitch with high convictions. That's the idea behind experience, a symmetry. It's just the kind of the construct of modern sales that needs to beovercome and I'm sure a lot of our listeners right now light bulbs are goingoff right. Oh, that's what it's...

...called. That's what I'm experiencing everyday when I send out emails or make calls, and I feel as ifI'm talking to someone who is vastly more knowledgeable on the subject that I'm talkingabout on the other end of that call, and that could be daunting. Sowhat is there to do? How does a young seller who notice isthis issue? How did they overcome that, that discrepancy? For sure, we'lllook. I think the first thing is noticing that you have that issuebefore other people notice it, because I guarantee you, as someone as aVP of sales and I big company and a startups, that where I gotcalled on all the time by bdrs and so on. Ither thing I wouldthink about is who the hell is this person calling me and what are theygoing to tell me about how to run my business? Right? So that'sin the back of our head. That's we're all thinking about. And soyou know, there are numbers different ways that you can help establish credibility inyour own personal brand, your company, when you don't have any, andI'm happy to kind of drop a few tips on you here now. Certainlythere are more, but that's cool. Absolutely, let's hear him. Yeah, so the first thing I think about is a concept called labeling. Now, I did not invent this concept called labeling, but the idea is thinkingabout this. Know your audience well enough to read their minds and to approachthem right and articulate what they're thinking but may not be saying right. Soyou know, the example I give is kind of a funny example, butlet's say you were going to a personal trainer, your Middle Age Guy,you're going a personal trainer and the personal trainers is hey, buddy, whyyou here? And you say and the reason you're there is because your wifedoesn't find you desirable anymore. Okay, I'm just fictitious example. Right,but you're not going to say that. You're not going to tell the trainerthat on the first date. But what if the trainer said, Hey,look, you know, it's interesting. You know, typically when I speakto people like you, Middle Age guys that come to meet's for one ofthree reasons. Number one, they're trying to do something stupid like run andiron man triathlon and they need to you know. Number two, there's somethinggoing on at home. Their wives are partners don't find them desirable anymore.Number three, their dot. They went... the doctor and the doctor saidthey're about to have a heart attack and they need to get on the treadmillor you know something that's going to happen. And so the idea behind labeling it'slike what are the target the number one, two three pains that thecustomers that come to you typically have, and lead with those so your buyer, your customer, can save them. Says to themselves, Oh my God, yeah, this person understands the pains that I have. Right, thinkingabout what your target customer goes through every day and pick a few different things, label them and use those things in your sales and marketing outreach. Very, very powerful to overcoming that asymmetry. It reminds me of when I boughtmy my Subaru Forester a few years back and I walk in and the salesperson goes you looking for something to go up to Tahoe in, and probablysomething pretty safe, right, and it's like yeah, that's exactly what I'mlooking for in the foresters over here. I'm like, that's what I'm hereto look at. It's now you got me, you Bab remember we talkedabout our first podcast this idea of polarization. There's is probably a certain amount ofself selection that you went through. Where you look, you didn't knowat the super dealership by accident that you kind of had a cent, butit's true. As soon as they said Hey, are you thinking about atABC, and now it hits your brain like, oh my gosh, itis right now. The person who's Mos once thinking, can this person helpme? is now thing go. Maybe they maybe they can write now.There's a nuance to this. You want to make sure that what you're positioningis the label, is something that's a little bit more unique in nuance.So, for example, I'm sure you I we get outreaches from people allthe time in the sales and marketing space like say, Hey, I betyou like more leads and more bigger pipeline. Wouldn't you like that? Like everyonewants yeah, sure, where do I sign? You know everyone wantsthat. So you know, the idea is that it should be specific andtargeted, so it's not doesn't come off sounding like a pitch. Right.That's the first thing. And you know,...

...again, it doesn't have to bepitched. It can be like hey, look, I was hoping we getfive minutes of your time. Typically, when I speak to organizations like yoursand customers like you, here's what I hear. And you want tohave something, it's like a little bit nuanced and triggered to people stand upand so tell me more. This is someone who could help me. Right. So that's the first thing, and it's actually funny how how many ofthese examples revolve around this concept of Kenn this person helped me. You know, the thing I always talked about when I teach my discovery sessions is thatyou're not a doctor. They like when you when you go into the doctor, when something's bothering you have a rash, you go into the doctor, thedoctor is immediately allowed to unload and and ask you all these questions.How long has it been going? Like? There doesn't even have to be ahello, like it's or if there is, but they can start unloadingall these questions right and you tolerate it because you know that that doctor canhelp you. Right. So the problem with experience, a symmetry, isthey don't know you can help them. So show them you can help themby talking about some of the challenges that they have that they may not betalking about, and in fact the ones that they don't talk about or oftenvocalize or may not even know they have, are the most powerful. Why didit have to be a rash. In your example, I can havebeen like a sore shoulder or or something. I was trying to think of somethingnot too inflammatory, but something that people would have a bit more ofa visceral reaction to. Well, you achieved your goal, some reaction topicturing a rash. All right, sorry, sorry to interrupt. Continue, it'sall good. No, look, so that's the like. Show themyou could. And I'll tell you here's a little funny inside scoop. Forme, as someone who's WHO's, you know, makes their livelihood selling trainingand speaking services, one of the things that acts as that a labeling tacticfor me is, ironically, experience a symmetry. So, for example,I'll go into a company ELSEA. Hey know it. I find that alot of organizations have an issue, especially sales leaters, with experience a symmetryand like what's that like? Well,... you have a young sales teamis trying to sell to an older, more mature audience whose job they've everdone? And they're like yes, oh my gosh, there's a label forthat, and I guess I just made it up. It's called experience Ayimmetry. But the big Oh, yeah, because, you know what, nota lot of people talk about experience a symmetry and now they're thinking,oh, can he help us with that? And again this I didn't do thisto make a pitch, but it's funny that as I've talked about experiencea symmetry, I see the same light bulbs go off and people's heads thatthey do when I say, Oh, did you come to the gym becauseyour doctor said you're going to have a heart attack. Right. So thereyou go. So that's the first thing. The second thing I talked about isis, interestingly, it's the words that you use and when you're talkingto a customer and you're trying to convey to valuable solution, sometimes you beginsentences with phrases like what I found is that, you know the customers thatI've talked to. You know, say that you know A, B andC, and sometimes you have to kind of check your language because no onecares what you think, you know, unless you're oprah or Barack Obama.Like no one cares what you think. Okay, so you don't have anycredibility. So starting freight, were your senses with the phrase like Oh,I found or I feel or I believe like no one cares. And sothe idea is, how can you invoke I call it punching with the weightof your organization. So imagine your second day on the job. You haveno credibility, you spoken to no customers. Okay, what would you say?And so some of it is actually just shifting your your speaking and you'rephrasing. So instead of saying, well, what I found, you might saywhat our customers have found or what our founder Joe found when he startedthe company. Was that? Or What's interesting, there was a study inharbor business that talked about how people use feelings and sales and what they foundwas now, it's not me, I'm just the Messenger, right, I'minvoking the credibility of other people, other things, other customers that have nothingto do with me. So this idea of experience, a symmetry. Iknow people on the podcast can't see me...

...making my hand gestures here, butgetting behind a symmetry is how do we close that gap? And so ifI have a customer WHO's a VP of sales and I have or a prospectas of VP of sales and I can invoke the language and the pains andthe value proposition of one of my existing v piece of sales customers. Well, now I'm closing out on that experience gap and that's something we do alot in marketing, third party validation, you know, and I think totie back to that viscual response, when someone does lead with an eye,especially in a sales situation, you may have your wall go up. Ofcourse this person is going to say this. They want to sell me, ofcourse they're going to quote this, you know, and so it's greatto hear that there is a way to bypass that immediate defense mechanism of beingsold to or being pitched. It's true, I mean, and it's very subtle, you know, because we're so used to saying I this and Ifeel and I that, and so it's one of the easiest things for peopleto understand. Doesn't take a lot of work. The work, I wouldsay in your organizations. If your challenge with it a symmetry, part ofthe challenge is because exists, because as a RAPP or a younger person,I don't have access to the stories, like the stories live somewhere else.I haven't had a lot of personal experience myself. You know, one ofthe easiest and highest conviction ways for you to build confidence in your story isto have one of your customers. So, if you're a sales leader, you'reout there listening to this, have one of your customers come into yournext sales meeting, like in person, and describe live, one on one, the value they've gotten from your solution. Not a case study, not avideo recording. Have them describe personally, oneonone, the value that they gotfrom your solution. Again, lots of date and research on this showsthat that conviction rate on the part of your sellers increases by orders of magnitudebecause now they've heard the story firsthand. There's something magical that happens when youhear a story firsthand. So that's a very easy way. And then,once you hear that story as a seller,...'re going to go out, you'regoing to say, Oh, you know what, it's interesting. Wehad one of our customers in the office the other week and what they toldus was A, B and c right. So very easy way to build thatthat confidence. But the ideas shift the responsibility, the credibility, fromyou, who has none, to something else, a study, a customerthat has more and that's something we do at outrage. Actually, we bringin customers during our all hands meetings and they tell us the benefits that they'vegotten from using the product and it really puts that a human spin on it. You connect to a person actually benefiting from the product. But also,I think you're right, it soaked in little bit more and you remember whatthey said and you can convey that to someone else a lot easier than readinga case study that I probably wrote. So I think that's that's very powerful. Yeah, look, you know it's one of the easiest things to doas well, right, you know, bring in customers and customers love theaccess that they'll get to your organization by doing that. So the third pieceof advice I have. It actually is is a good dovetail off what wespoke about in the last episode of Our podcast together, was this idea withinof conviction. Right. So, my own personal story, when I startedmy career in sales I was a sales engineer. So I know there mightbe a bunch of sales engineers listening here, because I was technical. I Iwas in doing graduate work in engineering, I was I was building computer models, coding. I was well suited to be a solution engineer. Icould. I was like coding, you know, doing code, custom codefor Demos and so on, but oftentimes I would be thrust into, know, we were a big enterprise software company. I was thrust into meetings with decisionmakerswho were much more senior than I was and then operating off, youknow, systems that were much older that the you know, than then.Nowadays you would expect to find it a lot of on premise solutions and soon. Back then and I remember I was in this the board room andwe were gearing up for this demo which was probably going to take a dayand a half, and remember one of the customers joking. They said,Oh, like, we got systems here... our in our facility here thatare probably older than David I was. I think I was twenty five orsomething at the time, and and I okay, well, like, let'shave at her right. And I had. I had the benefit of working witha lot of customers very early on at my company, so I hada lot of conviction around our ability to service their needs as well as whatother companies did, and so I just kind of went at it and II said look, I work with tons of companies like you. Here's whatI've seen. Here some things that you may not be thinking about. Here'swhat we believe is a company and the kind of the future direction of ourindustry, and here's what we're bringing to you and manifesting all of this convictionaround what we did. I remember by the end the the same folks inthe room. We're saying, well, my Gosh, I think if wehad an old guy coming in to talk to us about the latest technology,we wouldn't have believed them, you know. And so here, you know,Here's David laying all the stuff on it. So I feel like that'sthe the real key. I'm not suggesting that you, you know that youfake your conviction, but find we talked about in the last episode, FindYour Anchor Right, find your anchor. What is it that your company believesthat you can anchor your feelings in conviction around and lead with that message?And do you think there's a chance of that being off putting to a moresenior decisionmaker? Like here comes this kid, he's coming in now, he's goingto tell me what to do. I did. Yeah, he soundsconvicted and he knows he knows this stuff, or at least he sounds like hedoes. But Hey, I I mean that I'm the smart guy inthe room. You know. Did do you find that the people get defensivewhen that sort of conviction enters the room? Oh, that's a that's an amazingand very good, nuanced question, and here's my if you can indulgeme for a minute, here's my answer to that. A lot of peoplethink about sales as an art or a science. Right, though, it'slike it's the art of sales, as the science of sales. Now,I agree that sales is both right, like there's a science, like usingconviction and persuasive tactic. There's also an art terms of how you deliver itright. None of those two things are... important as a concept that Icall the why, which is, for example, if I went to exactlyyour point you, if I went in, I delivered my statement with conviction.Okay, it can be taken in one of two ways. Either thebuyer, who's more senior than I am, says, oh my gosh, thisthis kid, knows what he's talking about. Use Kid you femistically,but this person knows what they're talking about. Right. I'm going to believe themor it could come off as like this arrogant little twit. What?What is it? You know, he thinks he knows everything. He doesn'tknow nothing right. And whether or not I use the right balance of artand science and the customer interpreted at one way or the other, it doesn'tmatter what you need to ask yourself as however the customer took it. Whydid they take it that way? Did you improperly balanced? So, forexample, you used high conviction, but you came off as a jerk.You were too arrogant, right. So my thing molding to you is ifthey end up taking it the wrong way, which they can, if you aretoo arrogant about it right, then ask yourself why. Oh my gosh, I think I was probably a little too much bravado there. The dialit back next time. Or, you know, on the on the flipside, if it wasn't high conviction enough and it didn't have this, theydidn't dislike you, but it just didn't have this didn't land the same way. You can ask yourself. Hmm, you know what, it was agood scientifically sound tactic, but I didn't deliver it with the amount of convictionthat I should have. So you're totally right. People can absolutely misconstrue anythingyou do right, and some of it's not you, some of it's them. Right, it's the argument they got into with their significant other that morning. It's the budget that just got slashed. You know from undernew you don't knowright. So the idea is to always be asking why, but practicethe science, the art, the nuance, so that when you deliver it itcomes off as genuine humble value at yeah, there's an element of situationalawareness, knowing, knowing what's going on, reading the room and tailoring your deliveryaccordingly. So I think this is...

...a all great stuff. If therewas one takeaway for our listeners, what would it be? Oh, youknow, though, it's I got to go back to the same thing thatwe talked about in the last podcast, which is sell the way you buy. Empathy. Right, ask yourself if I was my buyer, if Ijust heard myself give this pitch, write this email, deliver whatever conviction ladenstatements you want, wouldn't work on me because often times and sales, wegive ourselves permission to act like jerks and use tactics that aren't that effective.But we do them in the name of sales because we're being told. So, you know, hit a number, make the calls or do whatever.So number one is empathy. Ask Yourself, would this work on me? Sellthe way you buy and you will find you will become a much moreeffective and empathetic seller, and I think that's such good advice it's worth hearingit twice, and I didn't mean to rhyme, but I'm proud of it. To David, if people wanted to get a hold of you, howthey do that? Yeah, look, the easiest way go over to cerebralsellingcom. I give away all my content for free, so by all meansgo over there. I have a great youtube channel which you can check out. There's a video link under the main header, but Servi Signcom is great, or you can hit me up on Linkedin as well. I love connectingwith people and talking about the world and modern selling. Fantastic. Thank youso much for being on the show today, David, and thank you to allof our listeners are tuning in once again hed sales engagement podcast and wewill see you next time. Thanks again. Father. This was another episode ofthe sales engagement podcast. Join US at sales engagementcom for new episodes,resources and the book on sales engagement coming soon. To get the most outof your sales engagement strategy, make sure to check out outreach dioh, theleading sales engagement platform. See you on the next episode.

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