Episode Fifty

What is Experience Asymmetry? And 3 Ways to Overcome It

Guest: David Priemer, Founder and Chief Sales Scientist at Cerebral Selling

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David Priemer Sales Science Featured Image Experience Asymmetry

About This Episode

“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 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 the asymmetry to increase their credibility.

What is Experience Asymmetry?

Asymmetry typically refers to an imbalance.

So much of sales involves a younger, less experienced salespeople calling more experienced decision makers whose job they’ve never done.

For example, a sales rep selling a solution to VPs of Sales and Marketing who’s never been a VP of Sales or Marketing.

Or a rep could be selling a solution to doctors or freelance artists. And they’ve never been one of those things before.

So there’s an imbalance that poses a big challenge.

David Priemer Sales Engagement Experience Assymetry

David offers three effective ways to overcome the imbalance:

Practice #1: Labeling

Labeling is knowing your audience well enough to read their minds and to articulate what they’re thinking but may not be saying.

For example, a middle-aged guy going to a personal trainer who says, “Hey Buddy, why you’re here?”

And the true reason he’s there is that his wife doesn’t find him desirable anymore. He’s not going to say that!

But what if the trainer said, “Hey look, you know, typically when I speak to middle-aged guys that come to me, it’s for one of three reasons.

  1. They’re trying to do something stupid like run an iron man triathlon.
  2. There’s something going on at home. Their wives or partners don’t find them desirable anymore.
  3. They went to the doctor and the doctor they need to get on the treadmill or you know, something bad’s going to happen.”

The idea behind labeling is to target the #1, #2, #3 pains that the customers typically have and lead with those so the buyer feels understood.

There’s a nuance here though. You want to make sure the label is specific enough or else it just comes off like a pitch.

Practice #2: Punching with the Weight of Your Organization

This starts with the words that you choose.

The problem with phrases like “I’ve found,” “ I feel”, or “I believe” is that you don’t have any credibility.

So the question is how can you evoke the punching weight of your organization?

Instead of saying “I found,” you want to say things like:

  • “What our customers have found…”
  • “What our founder Joe found when he started the company was that…”
  • “What’s interesting, there was a study in Harvard business that talked about how people use feelings in sales. And what they found was…”

You have the become the messenger and shift the responsibility of credibility from you to a study, a customer, etc.

Practice #3: Honest Conviction

Manifesting conviction is powerful, and there is an easy step companies can take to dramatically impact the conviction of their sales reps:

Have one of your customers come into your next sales meeting in person and describe the value they’ve gotten from your solution.

Not a case study, not a video recording. Have them describe personally one on one the value that they got from your solution.

Lots of data and research on this shows that that conviction rate on the part of your sellers increases by orders of magnitude because now they’ve heard the story firsthand.

Experience Asymmetry David Priemer

Sales is both an art and a science and neither component is more important than the other.  But more important than both of those components is the “why”.

Always know your “why” while practicing the empathy to control how you come off to the other person.

As David unpacked in his last episode, empathy is about looking at the tactics you are using and asking yourself how you would feel if you were on the receiving end.

Connect with David on LinkedIn or by visiting CerebralSelling.com.

This post is based on a podcast interview with David Priemer, founder of Cerebral Selling. To hear this episode, and many more like it, you can subscribe to The Sales Engagement Podcast.

If you don’t use iTunes, you can listen to every episode here

About The Podcast

The Sales Engagement podcast is the #1 podcast focused on engaging your customers and prospects in the modern sales era. This show features real-life stories and best practices from revenue leaders doing the job day in and day out, in a casual, radio-like talk show.

Each episode features modern tactics, strategies, hacks, and tips to get the most out of your sales engagement strategy and help you navigate the next generation of sales. You’ll find energetic talks that will provide you with real actionable value around building meaningful connections and creating a better selling experience through authentic conversations that you can measure.

The Sales Engagement podcast is here to help B2B sales leaders, customer success leaders, and marketing leaders innovate and usher in the next era of modern sales by building pipeline, up-selling customers, and ultimately generating more revenue with more efficiency.

Hosted by Joe Vignolo, Senior Content Managing Editor at Outreach, and Mark Kosoglow, Vice President of Sales at Outreach.

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