What is a bear trap in sales?
As a salesperson there are plenty of actions you can take to sell more. What you may not see it the internal back and forth your buyer or client has. When most salespeople present they only show the good of what can happen. Only one side of the rainbow is painted. You can create some skepticism from your presentation.
A bear trap in sales is where you “stick” your competitors with trying to explain away their downfalls. You do need to know that this concept is not new in sales. What is important is that is traditionally has not been taught effectively.
This idea came from watching the movie Eight Mile. B Rabbit was about to go up against Pappa Doc. Cheddar Bob asked B Rabbit what he was going to do about the negatives from life. B Rabbit decided to go up against them in the rap battle.
Most salespeople do think in terms of the negatives of their jobs, products and services. What salespeople don’t do it coherently explain what the competition does improperly.
Where does the term “bear trap” in sales come from?
When you look at the old school bear traps there were 2 clamps with jagged teeth that snapped when stepped on. In between the clamps was a trigger that caused the snap to close. To make the trap more effective a chain was attached to the base so it could be hooked to a tree, a rock or a solid object.
A bear trap in sales is a “snap trap” for your competitors that does a few things:
1. It catches them off guard and pulls them away from their presentation
2. The salesperson is now defending themselves in a negative story
3. When explained properly the bear trap creates doubt in the part of the buyer or the consumer
4. Last of all the salesperson is now trapped in framed information
A well-designed bear trap will cause your competition to become “stuck”. Instead of presenting towards the good, they have to offer they have to take time to defend outside ideas and concepts. You effectively turn their presentation into defense instead of an offense.
How to create a bear trap in sales
If you want to create an effective bear trap in sales you will want to look for all of the negatives in your industry. You can go broad and then go narrow. You want to start high level because you have more control of the conversation. You can use a white board or a piece of paper to build out your bear trap. Start with the most damaging thing the industry has that you do not.
It is important for you to know in order for this to work you do absolutely need honesty and integrity. Do not make things up that are not true, it will end up hurting you.
You will turn these common problems into word tracks and or scripts. You will need to practice the bear traps you come up with.
How to use a bear trap in sales
You do not want to roll out a bear trap right off the bat in the sales or presentation process. In fact the more discreet you are about a bear trap the better off you are. This is a case of more being covert than overt.
You can cloak a bear trap in commonality. In fact the more you make your bear trap normal the better off you are. You can use phrases like:
• A common complaint about the industry is…
• Here is what you need to expect with…
• The important conversation to have is…
• This is a common question I get…
• What you are not asking about is….
You will want to bring up the topics and explain what the buyer is in for. This is 3-7 sentences where you tell the future, explain a problem, highlight a deficiency or share an experience.
Rolling out a bear trap in sales
Your vocal pitch and tone matter with bear traps. You need to be the same person in the sales process to roll this out the right way. You must role play bear traps in sales for al of these reasons. There is a tendency to want to rush the conversations. This is all about timing and interaction. You do need rapport for this conversation to work properly.
Bear trap in sales roadmap
The real magic happens with a bear trap when your potential client asks for a “reason why” something happens. You can induce interactions where questions about “why” is asked. These questions can happen from the stories you tell, the examples you give and from the presentation you give. When you set a bear trap correctly your buyer will chase you and ask for your help. You will want to have 3 of these “bear traps” built. You will find times where they don’t land or they don’t fit in.
Why bear traps in sales work
When you remove the pressure from the sales conversation while inducing curiosity you can close deals. You are removing elements of fear your buyer will have about sales and the sales process. The front end work you put in with scripting and practice give you a base of content to work from. Curiosity is one of the strongest forms of creating attention and bear traps are all about curiosity and then the reveal. You have the elements of how not to buy as a “fair warning” for the people you meet with.