Most modern sales methodologies focus on building rapport and trust with the prospect; challenging the prospect’s beliefs to make better deals is a hallmark of that perspective. In today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, Donald is joined by the Chief Evangelist of Challenger, Jennifer Allen, to discuss her company’s methodology that drives relationships with their prospects and customers. Jennifer started as an entry-level seller in account management: A relationship-builder through and through, she worked hard to gain client trust. (Which worked well for a long time.) During the 2008 recession, her peers and customers laid off teams and cut back budgets; that’s when her corporate exec board launched a report detailing what maintains relationships with customers. Jennifer was shocked to see none of her current sales components in that report. What worked once now no longer works. Why focus on the relationship side? Jennifer never wanted to be one of those salespeople, but it was also how she was coached - she mirrored the behavior of her managers and peers. She was taught to ease tension with the buyer. However, constructive tension is crucial to teaching a prospect a risk (and why they need to act on that risk.) When you have a problem and go to the bar, the bartender makes you feel good in the moment, but then you wake up with a hangover and the same problem. Conversely, working towards a productive goal helps make strides toward solving the problem. It’s all about your relationships with the people around you. Implementing the challenger sale for success: Jennifer transitioned from a relationship-building to a challenger by reading The Challenger Sale. Her first interpretation after reading the book? Tell prospects everything they were doing wrong. Unsurprisingly, that didn’t work that well. She failed to engage in a two-way dialogue and didn’t offer a space for the prospect to interact and engage. The takeaway? You have to earn the privilege to say they’re doing something wrong. Have an observation about the company, look for something the company is trying to achieve and determine the company’s end-state goal. If it’s a public company, see if they’re trying to acquire AI or how they’re trying to grow. Express curiosity in the end goal. Have something of value to share, whether right or wrong. Either way, it’s something to think about. If it’s a private company, look to the CEO’s LinkedIn page or an exec’s podcast and see if they convey any information. Bringing something of value to the prospect throughout the sales experience is a compelling reason for the prospect to work with you. Stop using sales buzz words and figure out how you can bring something to the table. Jennifer’s major takeaway? Keep a log of what each company is missing, and what happened to make you realize that particular thing was lacking. As you grow that log, you’ll have an easier time when identifying other companies. For more content from Jennifer, connect with her on LinkedIn and listen to her podcast, Winning the Challenger Sale, on Spotify or Apple Podcasts. This episode is brought to you in part by LinkedIn Sales Navigator. The Great Resignation has become the Great Reshuffle, meaning it can be difficult for sales professionals like you to find leads and close deals. Luckily, Sales Navigator from LinkedIn is here for you! Sales Navigator from LinkedIn is the only tool that uses real-time alerts and up-to-date insights to help you know when prospects are ready to buy. And, with over 30 advanced filters, sales professionals can quickly find genuine leads with the intent to purchase. Gain the advantage of accurate, quality lead generation data from LinkedIn Sales Navigator. You can get a 60-day free trial of Sales Navigator at www.LinkedIn.com/TSE. This episode is brought to you in part by Skipio. Are you sick of crickets? As a salesperson, the pain of reaching out with phone calls or emails and not receiving a response is real. But all text messaging is not created equal. 85% of people prefer text over email and phone calls because they want to engage in a conversation, not listen to bots. Be more like people and start having conversations that end in the conversions you want. Try Skipio at www.Skipio.com. This episode is brought to you in part by Scratchpad. Are you tired of a digital workspace cluttered with notes, folders, files, and half-filled spreadsheets? (Not that we’re speaking from personal experience.) Luckily, we’ve found the solution. Scratchpad is the first Revenue Team Workspace specifically designed to adapt to each salesperson’s workflow, so you don’t have to change your habits. Scratchpad creates a streamlined workflow that allows everyone to be a little more productive each day without the hassle of updating a database with whatever info you can find. Get Scratchpad free at Scratchpad.com. As one of our podcast listeners, we value your opinion and always want to improve the quality of our show. Complete our two-minute survey here: thesalesevangelist.com/survey. We’d love for you to join us for our next episodes by tuning in on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or Spotify. Audio provided by Free SFX, Soundstripe, and Bensound. Other songs used in the episodes are as follows: The Organ Grinder written by Bradley Jay Hill, performed by Bright Seed, and Produced by Brightseed and Hill.