Zig Ziglar, in his book Ziglar on Selling, talks about a classic situation most salespeople face from time to time. You’re conducting an inquiry, looking for Pain, asking questions, listening, and then the prospect says, “Let’s get to the point. What is this going to cost me?”
Zig’s advice is to acknowledge what your prospect said, perhaps explaining a dramatic reason why people work with or use your product, and then go right back to the discipline of inquiring about the prospect’s situation and Pain, saying, for example, “Mr. Prospect, are you interested in cutting costs in the supply chain?” When you get a “yes,” respond, “Then let me get right to the point,” and continue to follow your planned inquiry approach.
Get the prospect talking, learn his/her Pain, talk about that Pain, and, ultimately, link what you have to offer to the alleviation of the prospect’s Pain, assuming that can be done.
Understand that often, once you grasp a prospect’s Pain, you’ll discover that it really isn’t the type of Pain you can alleviate. When there’s no fit, walk away. A mistake that many sellers make is to try to make everyone into a prospect, whether or not they’re a fit for what you have to offer. That usually backfires.
The key is to talk to lots of people and to move forward with those whose Pain really fits what you have to offer. If you’re only talking with a few prospects, you’re more likely to try to force the fit and ultimately lose.