From the moment you walk in the door or connect on the telephone, and throughout the selling process, above all else you should be listening for your prospect’s Pain.
- Things she’s having trouble with right now.
- Things he has had trouble with in the past.
- Things she is afraid she’ll have trouble with in the future.
- Things he has heard have caused trouble for other people like him.
People live where their Pain is. Talk about their Pain, and most people will get fully engaged in the conversation with you.
If you’re telephoning and you hear Pain, say, “I’m sorry you’re having difficulty with that, Mr. Smith. Why don’t we chat about that for a few minutes; I have some ideas for you.” Unless you’re actually closing sales on the phone, when you hear Pain you close—that is, you schedule an appointment at a specific date and time.
When in person with your prospect, ask questions to reveal Pain, and, when the Pain comes up, ask for more detail. For example, you can ask:
“Ms. Jones, do your investments give you any major trouble or concern?”
Or: “Mr. Smith, how much downtime is your system giving you overall?”
Or: “Ms. Green, how large a technical and research staff do you keep busy here?”
Do not start talking about you—skip the ME-ME-ME message. This is the point at which many sellers launch into their “elevator speech” or their “value proposition.” It’s better, instead, to talk about the prospect.