Gap Selling Book Summary, by Keenan

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1-Page Summary of Gap Selling

In “gap selling,” you close the gaps between customers’ current situation and their future improved situation.

Gap selling is based on basic sales rules. This includes learning how to read prospects’ minds during the discovery phase, having answers ready for objections that arise, and filling your pipeline with qualified leads. Gap selling will teach you how to do this by bridging gaps in the sales process.

  • Personalize your solution to the customer’s unique needs.

  • “Influence customers to buy into your solutions to their problems.” – Get customers on board with what you’re selling and make them want it. * “Maximize your value as a resource.” – Customers will see you as an expert that they can trust for advice about the product or service that they are buying.

  • “Put your customers first” – Customers are the most valuable part of any business. * “Create a sense of urgency” – This shortens sales cycles and prevents unnecessary complications from arising. * “Improve close rates”– If you’re not making quota every month, then something is wrong with your process. *

Heed the nine “truths of selling.”

Every sales transaction has nine basic principles: 1. If the customer doesn’t have a problem that your product can solve, you won’t make a sale. 2. It’s your job, not the customer’s, to define this gap accurately. 3. Customers likely don’t understand the extent of their problem and often underestimate how serious it is. 4-9

  1. All sales are about change. Customers make purchases in order to swap discomfort for comfort. They’ll buy something if they believe it will improve their lives in some way, whether it’s a new car or a box of cereal.

  2. “People don’t like change. Even when they say they do, the unexpected makes them uneasy. Sales are emotional because every sale involves some kind of change and emotions. Harvard Business School professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter identifies 10 threats that can trigger negative emotions and kill a budding sale: loss of control, excess uncertainty, surprises, too much change at once, loss of face, insecurity, extra work (for the other party), ripples from your actions to others in their lives (the “ripple effect”), resentment from past interactions with you or your company (“past resentments”) and real danger for either party if things go poorly.

  3. Customers don’t like change until they do. That happens when their pain gets too great and they are forced to make a change.

    • Asking why gets people to say yes. – More questions will help you understand customer motivations and what they’re looking for. – Sales happen when the future state is better than the present one, such as a competitive advantage or higher profits. Nobody cares about you, but if you can solve their problems, then they’ll buy from you.

Sales success depends on discovering and assessing customer problems and recommending solutions.

When you’re selling, you must accurately assess your customers’ problems and recommend solutions. Don’t try to sell right away; instead focus on communicating that you can help them fix their problem.

The more information salespeople have about their prospects’ problems, the better they will be at solving those problems and closing the sale. To get that knowledge, they must learn as much as possible about a prospect’s business, its issues, and how to solve them. They also need to understand what makes customers happy so that they can make sure to offer solutions that are in line with customer needs. Salespeople should not focus on selling their products or services; rather, they should focus on helping customers find solutions for their problems by learning all about them first.

Gap Selling Book Summary, by Keenan

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