In a world full of pain, let’s sell hope
This isn’t a fluffy message about how we should all be striving for world peace. Of course, that’d be great but we’re not in a Miss (or Mr) Universe competition, we’re dealing with life as it is. That being said, sales training often focuses on finding the pain points of a client and making that client realise just how serious it could be if they don’t do something about it… “Imagine showcasing your 250 inch screen at this year’s CES (Consumer Electronics Show) but 5 minutes in, you experience the ‘blue screen of death’!” Once that fear sets in, you pounce. Your solution will save them for sure… “Our ‘blue screen of death solution’ is the only way to save you from such heartache!”
It’s not all doom and gloom
This method, done in a less aggressive manner does have some merit. It’s all about creating urgency. Your client isn’t likely to buy unless they have a genuine reason to do so. Many people say that there is no more powerful reason than pain. That’s why sales teams focus so much on it. The problem with this is that although you are coming up with a solution, you are also somehow associated with that pain. Plus, what if they don’t have a really strong pain right now or at least don’t feel like they do? What if they don’t want to fix a problem that isn’t really there? You could try and force it but that could ruin any chance of a strong relationship. You could wait but for how long? What if it never breaks?
“I have no special talent, I am only passionately curious” – Albert Einstein
Every good sales leader should be coaching their teams to ask their prospects questions. They spark interest, create ideas and show an understanding of a topic but too many questions without context can sound like an interrogation. There is a balance to be had. Before your team member starts a conversation, make sure that they have done some strong background research.
Let’s think about CES again but this time, you’re trying to sell Samsung’s latest foldable phone. $2,000+ dollars is a lot to spend on a phone so how do you sell it? Maybe your potential customer lost their phone and tells you they’re looking for something to help them communicate. Of course, every phone can communicate so you need to find out what other features they might be interested in. You could ask a billion aggressive questions to find out or you could start a conversation. “Oh, yeah, communication comes in so many forms these days doesn’t it? A phone’s not just for calling anymore, there’s gaming, editing documents, taking photos… the list goes on. What else do you use your phone for?” Without interrogating your client, you’ve suddenly suggested 3 features they might need and got them thinking about the other things they use their phone for. They’ll probably add 2 – 3 more. This gives you the chance to show off how the Samsung not only does everything they need, it also offers something special. It offers that “wow” factor! “Imagine being able to see those photos on a tablet size screen and seconds later using the same device to make a standard call!”
Reaching for the stars
Pain isn’t the only way to create urgency. Desire is hope’s best friend and it is more powerful than pain will ever be. Desire creates tension but that tension isn’t uncomfortable, it doesn’t hurt, it is adrenalin pumping, it is exciting. When you truly listen to what a client wants, you can show them how to get there using what you have to offer. Talk about clients who have already achieved what they want by using your product/service, explain to them how their lives could improve with this investment. “Buying this phone is bound to save you time, money and effort as everything can be accessed from one device! Just as importantly, you’ll be the envy of all of your friends.”
Feeding the desire will often ease the pain
Focusing on what a client wants doesn’t mean we are ignoring their challenges, far from it. In reality, we’re offering exactly the same thing. We still understand a client’s needs, we still understand what’s going wrong but we don’t focus on the negatives. Their desires are usually based on resolving their pain points but by talking about the positives, we are changing the way they feel. We are offering an opportunity to grasp hope and desire.
There is a way to make sure your teams are always offering your clients hope and always making the most out of their desires. There is a way to use those desires to convert more prospects into long term clients. There is a way to get what you desire from your sales teams. Talk to me, Joshua Swerdlow to find out how. You can reach me through LinkedIn or Skype (joshswerdlow).