Why Pain Should Be a Salesperson’s Best Friend
“So why doesn’t that prospect buy from me?” Short answer: It’s too comfortable for them not to.
There’s always a temptation to stick to what you know. The same breakfast, the same holiday destination, the same terrible broadband supplier. For many prospects, whatever their experience with an unreliable incumbent or an ageing product, they have to take a step into the unknown if they’ve not bought from you before.
That’s right, for you to become their new provider, you must drive success by becoming adept at conjuring up the single most compelling reason that humans do anything-pain. Differentiate yourself. Make NOT buying from you more painful.
‘Stacking the pain’ should always form part of your value proposition.
Be bold-stacking the pain needs to happen way before you start proposing anything at all. No doctor would start explaining a cure for an illness without really diving into what the symptoms are. Use your own natural style to do the same.
As a patient, you buy the quick resolution of pain-not the pharmaceuticals themselves. You can change the world when you realise your prospects are buying the same thing, not your product or service.
So what are the 4 natural skills you need to make your prospects ache from the pain of NOT doing business with you?
1. Questioning. You don’t want questions to sound like an interrogation.
A series of closed questions that don’t build a picture or uncover areas of pain. Using your own warm, personal style, focus on broad, open-ended questions or ‘TED’ questions, which aren’t really questions at all. Try using “Tell me..”, “Explain to me… “, “Describe to me”-use your own instincts to enable the prospect to disclose pain.
If they don’t get talking about their pain soon, then before you know it, they’re twitchy and asking you to get on and explain what you do. Why? Because if their pain isn’t going to be alleviated, what’s the point of listening? Your chances at that stage are twofold-slim and none-and Slim just left town.
2. Listening. Some salespeople really drop the ball here.
What’s the biggest give-away that you’re not really listening? When you ask a question that’s nothing to do with what the prospect just said. Do that twice in a row, and their trust level has all but evaporated. Three strikes and you’re out, you get the idea.
Deep listening means shutting out all other noise, and above all else not to be planning your next question whilst they’re speaking!
3. Probing. This is the third weapon in our armoury.
Probe a remark the prospect makes with questions like “How often does that problem arise?” or “What’s the impact on your business when that goes wrong?” You’ll get right to the heart of their pain. That’s where the sale is, a prospect voicing and dwelling on everything that’s wrong with their status quo. Get this right and their belief in you will increase.
Differentiate yourself here because many salespeople scoot past it-by not listening and being too busy planning their next ‘brilliant’ question.
4. Finesse. When a prospect hears a list of everything that’s causing them pain in their organisation in an articulate summary of all that’s wrong with their world, then who is the salesperson with whom they’ll feel most comfortable about doing business? Will it be the salesperson who asked formulaic questions, pretended to listen and then just pitched their ‘cure’ without understanding the prospect’s pain? No. It will be the salesperson who spent the most time exploring the pain and consequently compelling the prospect to take the far less painful step of moving from their status quo to your solution.