Book Summary: Gap Selling Getting Customer to Yes By Keenan

To Sales People Everywhere

Hey, salespeople, you guys rock! You are the extreme athletes of the business world.

You only get paid if you deliver. You put anywhere from 40% to 100% of your salary on the line in commissions

Gap Selling is going to take you on a ride,

It’s in direct conflict with what we’ve been taught to believe for years, like:

Relationships really don’t matter

People really do buy from people they don’t like

There is no such thing as “closing”

You should never defend your product or price

No one gives a shit about you or your product and service

Pitching is not selling

Chapter One Welcome To The Game

See, at the heart of every sale, there’s a gap.

It’s a gap between what buyers have now and what they believe they want in the future,

Chapter Two The Nine Truthbombs Of Selling

The nine truths of selling  play out in every sales transaction you’ll ever engage in.

They are:

1. No problem, no sale

If a problem doesn’t exist, there is no sale—period. It’s that simple.

Finish what you start Book Summary

2. In every sale there’s a gap

The more impact, the larger the gap. And the larger the gap, the more valuable the Solution

3. All sales are about change

Whether they want something better or are getting away from  something painful, customers buy because they’ve gotten uncomfortable

4. Customers don’t like change

We ascribe more positive feelings toward things that have been around for a while than toward things that are new.

5. Sales are emotional

Ten threats that cause people to resist change:

  • 1. Loss of control
  • 2. Excess uncertainty
  • 3. Surprises
  • 4. Too much change at once
  • 5. Loss of face
  • 6. Insecurity
  • 7. Extra work
  • 8. The ripple effect
  • 9. Past resentments
  • 10. Real danger

6. Customers do like change when they feel it’s worth the cost

The only time we are compelled to let go of the old, stick out our necks, and embrace  it

Is when we believe that the benefits of that future state outweigh the cost of getting there

7. Asking “Why?” gets customers to “Yes”

Every time you ask “Why?” you chip away at the surface layers of your customer’s psyche to get to their intrinsic motivations, the whole reason why they ever gave you a chance to talk to them in the first place

8. Sales happen when the future state is a better state

  • An edge over the competition
  • Paths to previously unexplored markets
  • Increased profits
  • More rapid path to market
  • Heightened investor interest
  • Millions of dollars in savings
  • Streamlined manufacturing processes
  • The eye of the new generation
  • Faster communications
  • Happier, more engaged employees
  • Better customer retention
  • Improved personal service
  • More leads
  • Increased response times
  • Revenue

You can’t sell a future state (where your customer wants to be) unless you have a firm grasp on your customer’s current state (where your customer is now).

9. No one gives a shit about you

We are now in the show-me economy. The tell-me economy is dead, over.

So if you’re still trying to “tell” your prospect what you do, what your product does, and why you matter, you’re wasting their time.

Selling is a giving profession. Every time you engage with a customer, or send an email, or create something, you have to ask yourself, “What am I giving?”

Chapter Three The Current State—Where Customers Are

The literal and physical facts about your customer their problems

The impact of those problems

The root causes of the problems

What effect those problems are having on your customers’ emotional state

Chapter Four The Future State— Where Customers Want To Go

Where is their desired future state?

You can find out by asking these two questions:

1. What is the buyer looking to accomplish?

2. What would solving these problems mean to their organization, their employees, and to them?

Establishing your customers’ current state (pain) while anchoring them in the future state (pleasure) primes them to be open to your solution

Chapter Five Relationships Don’t Matter (Kinda)

People buy from people they like. I call bullshit

Likeability is no substitute for talent or expertise.

Of the performers in the top 5% of sales percentile, 89% did not feel a need to be liked, and

only 1% believed relationships were the key factor to closing business.

Chapter Six The Gap Defined

Good salespeople have to be able to ask questions that subtly test and challenge the customers’ perceived current state to see if the gap is bigger than anyone realized.

Chapter Seven Get Them To Let You Help

Selling starts with establishing trust and your credibility.

You have to convince your customers that you understand their world and their pain.

Chapter Eight Discovery: Know Your Clients Better Than They Know Themselves

Budget : I assure you, when prospects see enough value in what you’re selling, they’ll find the budget

Authority: Unless you’re selling a $1000-or-less product, there is no such thing as a single decision maker anymore

Need: Gap sellers don’t sell to need, they sell to problems.

Timing: Timing will take care of itself

The Close Happens at the Beginning

Know the Problem First, Call Second

lists all the potential problems you can solve, the various impacts these problems could have on your customers business, and their root causes.

Take a moment to describe these potential problems and ask permission to give your customers some ideas as to how you might be able to resolve them.

Conducting the Conversation

Tone is fundamental to good human communication

Timing matters. Just because you can ask a question, it doesn’t mean you should.

The Opportunity: Qualified or Not?

1. Does the prospect have a problem you can fix?

2. Does the prospect agree they have a problem?

3. Does the prospect want to fix the problem?

4. Will the prospect go on a journey with you to fix the problem?

Chapter Nine Is The Gap Worth It?

Future State – Current State = The Gap

The customer wants 20% growth. She’s at 10% growth. The gap is 10% and

Drill deep enough so that you know enough

about your customer’s organization

Chapter Ten Know Your Customers’ Why

You have to wonder, though, why not some other goal? Why 20% growth? Why not 30%, or even 50%? Why not 5%?

That subjective reason, that intrinsic motivation, is behind every future state.

Chapter Eleven

How To Do A Kickass Demo

You should never, ever combine a discovery and a demo.

If you have done a thorough discovery, you will know with great certainty what problems your customer is dealing with.

Reveal how well your product provides the solution to your buyer’s specific problems.

Chapter Twelve Move Your Deals Through The Pipeline

Nail Down their Decision Criteria

Know the Buying Process

Focus on the Next Yes

You’re Not the Customer’s B*tch

A good salesperson is a consultant, a collaborator, a partner—not a servant.

A sales relationship is like a marriage. You and your customer have to give and take as equals with an eye toward the same goals, or it just won’t work

When a Prospect Goes Dark You start with those four little words, “I’m confused. You said…”

When someone tells you the price of your product or service is too high, remind them of their desired outcomes.

Chapter Fourteen Prospecting: Getting The First “Yes!”

You construct an offer that is more advantageous to them than any other one they hear, something that is worth their five minutes.

Chapter Fifteen Smart Prospecting Prep

You’re not looking for people to talk to; you’re looking for people with problems you can solve.

As you start prospecting, keep thinking like a buyer.

Everything you send out, every communication, every engagement should address a problem or a set of problems with which your target customer could be struggling.

Chapter Sixteen How To Capture Attention

Find ways to create the unexpected

“Did you know that your competitor shortened their manufacturing cycle by three days using our product?”

Prove that you know something the buyer doesn’t about their industry

Don’t ask for a chance to talk. Ask for a chance to give value. Gap Selling !

Chapter Seventeen Set The Right Cadence

72% of salespeople who used social media to sell outperformed their peers and exceeded quota 23% more often than those who didn’t.

it could take anywhere from 8–12 touches for a customer to finally give you some attention.

Prospecting is about figuring out what you can do to trigger your buyer’s “oh-shit” circuit so they notice you

This is Gap Selling !

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