I am sure you’ve heard something, or maybe nothing, about the transformative selling approach referred to as Gap Selling. This was developed by Keenan, a lifelong sales guy with over 20 years of experience. Keenan is a CEO, keynote speaker, Forbes contributor and Award-Winning Blogger…So I guess we should take some of his sales advice, right??
Alright, let's dive into the concepts of Gap Selling and how we can practically use this. As a sales guy myself, I use elements of Gap Selling everyday. Gap Selling is about improving your sales process. Using this approach, I have been able to lock in more deals and create lasting partnerships with customers and clients.
In selling, you must figure out what “state of being” your client or customer is in.
Gap Selling encourages sales professionals to slow down and explore the following with clients and prospects:
Why is that prospect searching for your service or your product? What are the facts that lead them here?
What is the problem /issue they are facing? What are their pain points?
What is motivating them to invest in a product or service?
How can your product/service bridge the gap between their current state and desired state?
With Gap Selling, we can shift from a traditional selling approach that focuses all too much on the product… to what is the actual problem that needs to be solved here.
Once you can identify the “gap” that your prospect is facing (their problem and pain)... you can hone in on their motivation to buy a product or engage in a service you have to offer. Our job is to find the gap and replace this with value.
Big gap = big motivation to buy.
Small gap = small motivation to buy.
Although Keenan lays out the main points to finding your prospects value, this looks different for each salesperson. As mentioned above, we should explore our prospects “state of being” (facts) and the problem they are facing. Keenan also highlights:
- What impact this has on them?
- What is the root cause for this?
- What is the feeling this provokes?
- What is their desired futurestate?
- How are we going to solve this? What solutions are out there?
Now, you might be thinking, this sounds like way too much work to acquire new clients and retain current clients. But, take it from me and thousands of other sales professionals, you need to be using elements of Gap Selling to avoid losing deals that you could have landed.
Practice slowing down your sales process. Take the time to ask good questions and explore their situation. We need to listen to what they have to say, to understand them. If we understand them, we can identify their challenges and work to solve their problem(s) with our product or service.
Overall, Gap Selling is about the relationship you develop with prospects. It is about connecting the dots between the person and the problem. As Keenan describes, the core of Gap Selling is the process of moving someone away from a product/service to, why they are here in the first place. When taking a new sales call, I often start by asking my prospects, “what made you reach out to me?” Now, this is not a sales pitch on why you should use Gap Selling. But, this is a pitch on why I have used Gap Selling for years and found it to be a tremendous compliant to my sales approach.
A sales professional must develop skills like patience, deep understanding, empathy, and much more my friend. But, Gap Selling is do-able and sales professionals across the world (including you) can dive deep into what it is, how it works, and how it can benefit you and your prospects.
I am sure by now, you got the gist that Gap Selling is not easy…..But, my question is; How do you want to be remembered? As the salesperson or as the problem-solver?