Sales is about solving problems, right? We’re taught in nearly every sales system that if you can convince prospects that you understand their pain, if you dig into the emotions associated with that pain, and if you show them that your solution solves that pain and eliminates those negative emotions, then they’ll be begging to sign your contract.
It’s true, most of the time. If someone is really hurting, they need some help. And they’ll do anything to relieve their pain. If they’re convinced you’re their best option for ridding themselves of bad stuff, they will probably buy from you.
But solving pain is expected. And every sales person is focusing on pain. If you’re only talking about problems and solutions, you sound pretty similar to your competitors. Which can be a problem.
And focusing on pain only works for people in pain. People who are doing well aren’t going to feel much pain. But you can steer them towards the opportunities they have and demonstrate what they stand to gain. (You can still dig into the pain of missed opportunities, but in this case you need to “invent” the pain for them.)
(I once had a business coach tell me my business would fail if I didn’t use his services. Instead of considering the many ways in which my business might have been better if I’d hired him, I exited the conversation as quickly as I could, thinking, “Yeah, right.” Of course my business didn’t fail, but I may have missed out on growth opportunities by not using a coach. He wasn’t a very good salesperson because he was focused on pain I didn’t have.)
When your prospects aren’t in pain, or when your service brings delight or growth or other happy benefits that make people’s lives better, you might do better if you focus on the positive instead of the negative.
Not many sales people are talking about the positive, so you stand out. And any time you’re connecting with a prospect’s real needs and desires, you’re going to be effective.
So don’t feel like you need to follow a sales script. If you simply focus on listening to your prospects and communicating with them, you’ll be much more sure to seal the deal.
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