Episode 9: Gap Analysis: Gathering Information for Optimal Service
Episode 9: Gap Analysis: Gathering Information for Optimal Service
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Jason McClain: Welcome to ‘Evolutionary Sales’. I'm your host Jason McClain and your guide in the 21st-century marketplace.
Jason McClain: How often do you interact with them in a way that you are trying to make decisions or trying to influence each other? It could be going to a favorite movie or a new restaurant. Or it could be trying out a new experience. Are you attempting to influence them based on their values or are you telling them what you like about it.
In other words if you interact with other human beings at all [laughs] in today's culture, if you're not, well, you've probably already been arrested and you are probably locked away. Whether you are selling vehicles, cars, trucks, tractors, whether you are selling real estate, property, rental property or someone's dream home, or whether you are selling sales products or whether you are somebody who is selling musical scores for movies, it doesn't matter. The process is precisely the same. It is your job to find out how this can work, not whether it will work for you in your business or not, but rather how.
Jason McClain: Last week on Evolutionary Sales we talked about depth selling and selling to values. This week we will be talking about a concept called ‘Gap Analysis’. Thank you for allowing me to be your guide in the 21st-century marketplace.
Before we get into the meat of this podcast episode, let me just go through a few ideas with you. First of all there is the importance of a partner, the importance of an exercise partner that is someone who can assist you in integrating new skills. Again, remember, this is about building muscles. This is about building the muscle of communication. It is about further integrating into your neurology new habit patterns of the mind and essentially of the mouth, which is what you normally use to communicate although you are communicating with your whole body to be sure.
So if you haven't already acquired a partner who is willing to assist you in becoming more effective at your communication and at your skills in enrolling people in a vision that you can provide for their life, their business, their family etc. well, do so.
Additionally however, what I would say is how often do you interact with other human beings? How often do you interact with them in a way that you are trying to make decisions or trying to influence each other? It could be going to a favorite movie or a new restaurant. Or it could be trying out a new experience. Are you attempting to influence them based on their values or are you telling them what you like about it.
In other words if you interact with other human beings at all [laughs] and in today's culture, if you're not, well, you've probably already been arrested and you are probably locked away. In other words, of course you have opportunities to practice these skills, whether you have a partner or not. And practice them all the time. Practice them with great intentionality but also practice them mindlessly. In other words, every chance you get just have fun with it. Go crazy with it. And in doing so you will have integrated more distinctions and more skill than anyone you know.
Take it out and practice it whether you are getting a cup of coffee or whether you are buying a piece of pie or whether you are ordering lunch or whether you are speaking to your lover or your partner or your spouse or your boss or a colleague. I don't care with whom you are communicating. It's an opportunity for you to produce a learning experience and allowing you to further integrate these skills.
So take that on as one of your fundamental mindsets that you are always practicing, always learning, always evolving. Let me also suggest to you that these skills will not just be effective and important to you in a context in which you are currently viewing them. We are influencing each other all the time, some of us with a lack of consciousness, some of us fully conscious. Some of us are doing it in the service of someone else's outcomes, which I would consider service of contribution. Some of us unfortunately are doing it in service of our own outcomes, which I would say most people mean when they say manipulation. Or - well yeah, manipulation.
Now we can reframe manipulation. We can say that if a surgeon is manipulating a scalpel, you want him to do that well. In other words, they are in service of your outcome of being healthier and getting that growth or cancer or this body of cells that has gotten out of control. And that's all fine. And if you are listening to this and you have listened to it so far and you have already subscribed to all of them, you are already in service of others outcomes and you realize that should be your primary goal, your primary direction and your primary orientation. Because that is the primary difference that will make the difference in the 21st-century marketplace.
Just imagine dating or going to a new restaurant, etc. You can use these skills any given day at any given moment if you're interacting with another human being. So again, whether you have a partner or not, use them all the time. Practice them all the time so they begin to become like a new muscle movement that you're learning, something new in your neurology.
And with those thoughts in mind, let's get into gap analysis, which is a whole series of questions and a whole series of linguistic flow. In the past I have spoken to you about the visual, auditory, kinesthetic, olfactory, gustatory and language or VAKOGL. Pictures, sounds, feelings, smells, tastes, and language.
We are about to get into how to impact someone else's experience in service of their outcomes through the use of linguistic tools. Gap analysis is a set of questions allowing you to be of service and to demonstrate value. The reason you want to do it is so you can both get clear and also set your prospect up for the next phase or stage in your sales process, on the road to opening a relationship with them that has to do with demonstrating your value and also demonstrating that you are head and shoulders above any other salesperson or sales professional that they have dealt with in the past.
Let me just say a couple of things because I have gotten some feedback from some listeners. And they are curious how they can integrate this into their business. This will work for any business. I think I said this in the last episode, this is the reason I have designed it at this level.
Whether you are selling vehicles, cars, trucks, tractors, whether you are selling real estate, property, rental property or someone's dream home, or whether you are selling sales products or whether you are somebody who is selling musical scores for movies, it doesn't matter. The process is precisely the same. It is your job to find out how this can work, not whether it will work for you in your business or not, but rather how.
So let's get into the gap analysis question flow. It is a series of six questions. I'm going to upload this for you onto the Evolutionary Awareness Blog on the Personal Life Media Network. I want you to be aware that this is about to go up and I want you to learn it because I want you to have it in multiple modalities. V, A and K and L.
So, what is the question flow? Just as in your own outcomes, you need to have smart outcomes or smart goals or maybe they are deliverables for your clients. You simply ask them, “What do you want?” That is the first question. And you guide them in making it a smart outcome.
‘S’ stands for stating the positive. ‘M’ stands for measurable. ‘A’ stands for achievable. ‘R’ stands for responsible. ‘T’ stands for set in time. SMART. Stating the positive, measurable, achievable, responsible and set in time.
Now, we went over this in a much earlier episode of Evolutionary Sales, so I'm not going to waste your time in reviewing it. I encourage you to go back and review that episode however.
And then you ask them for evidence. Well, how would you know when you have that? What would you be seeing, feeling, hearing, doing or experiencing? It might be something as mundane as, “Well, we will have increased income.” Well of course, that is important. But it also might be something about communication or harmony in the team. Or it could be a sensation. Or it could be the rewards they will see from their community.
What it will be I cannot tell you. You have to ask them that. And what I would encourage you to do is to not assume anything. In other words, assume that you don't know what their evidence would be. As I mentioned last time, be aware of when you are projecting your interpretations, your meaning and your values onto your prospects or clients.
What most salespeople do as an error is it that they don't ask questions. They assume that the things that they think are really cool about their product or their service are the same things that their prospect or their clients are going to think are cool and fun and yummy and great about their product or service. Just assume you are going to be wrong when you assume that.
The third question is, “What stops you from having that now?” Here you're not only going to learn about all the challenges that have been there in the past with their team or their employees or their relationships but you are also going to hear their limiting beliefs. We talked about your limiting beliefs. So you can map that across. In other words, whether you like it or not, I don't care if you're selling houses or you are a mortgage broker or you are selling cars or you are selling consulting services or you are selling a piece of software or you are selling people - that is, IT consultants - it doesn't matter. You are really going to have to get through someone's limits and the muddle of their world.
Question four is, “What is important to you about having that?” And what is important to them about having that is a contextual value solicitation so that you can understand them at a deeper level.
Question five is, “If you had that, what would it make possible in your life or in your business or on your team.” Like that, and you want to contextualize it. Again, this begins to build vision and possibility. So they begin to get an expansive view. You should only ask this question if you are incredibly certain - and when I say incredibly, I mean over 90% certain - that you can assist them in achieving that.
Then finally, question six is, “What would it be worth to you?” This is the value confirmation.
If you do these steps well enough in the previous steps, you don't even need to learn closing techniques. In fact I had somebody ask me about closing techniques the other day and I said, “I don't know closing techniques. I'm not even going to offer them in my sales program because if you haven't sold appropriately upfront, well that's the only reason you might need closing techniques.” That is if you haven't built enough of a relationship, if you're not selling with permission and you are not selling to values and depth selling, well then you might need to close someone hard.
But really it should just be about having someone signed contract, with the assumptive close. And we will get into that later.
So the question flow again of gap analysis is – What do you want? SMART outcomes - stated in the positive, measurable, achievable, responsible, and set in time. How will you know when you have that? What will you be seeing, feeling, hearing, doing, or experiencing. Or you could also ask them what would their evidence be if we had achieved that together. The next question is - what stops you from having that now? This tells you all the limits of the previous system and the limits of their world currently. Question four is - what is important to you about having that? This elicits their values in this context.
Question five is - if you had that what would it make possible your life? This is vision and possibility so that you can begin to sell them into what it will create for them. This is really your job as a sales professional, which is to create vision and possibility and assist people in living into that. And then finally, question six is - what would it be worth to you? I have to tell you I have gotten answers from that, everything from, “Twice what I will be paying you” to “Priceless”.
And again, it doesn't matter what you are doing. It doesn't matter if you are a car salesman or a mortgage broker, or a real estate agent, an IT consultant, a headhunter, a consultant in the realm of coaching or consulting or whether you are a corporate trainer. It doesn't matter whether you are a corporate executive trying to lead your team into a new vision and try to sell them on a vision.
If you haven't done this by now in this sales process in this series of podcasts, I apologize. If you're in business for yourself or if you are leading a team or if you are in a relationship with another human being, consider yourself a salesperson first, but an evolutionary salesperson, coming from contribution and purpose and using incredible skills of influence to assist others in their outcome. And hopefully you can co-create outcomes in a way that is elegant and integrative.
That is gap analysis. Thank you for listening so far. I'm your host Jason McClain, your guide in the 21st-century marketplace. For transcripts of the show or any other show on the Personal Life Media Network, please go to personallifemedia.com.
If you have any questions about this episode or any other episode or any questions about anything that you experienced on this show or through evolutionaryawareness.com, send me an e-mail at [email protected]
And I've got some free podcast pieces from iFrogz.com. I'm about to give the first one away to the best question I have received so far through e-mail or on the blog. And you can find the blog by simply navigating towards personallifemedia.com, clicking on blogs and you should see me there - Jason McClain, your host on this show and host on ‘Coaching The Life Coach’, another show on the Personal Life Media Network.
Thanks for listening. I look forward to contributing to your success further. In the next episode we will talk about inspiring people towards action because Evolutionary Sales is about inspiring people towards a vision but also leveraging them beyond their limitations. It becomes your job to break the boundaries of their thinking. So we will get into some really advanced linguistic techniques next.
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