Sales Essentials Blog

No Pain, No Change = No Sale

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It happens often that what may seem so obvious to us may not be obvious to the client or on their agenda at all.

Perceived pain

Why? Simply put, if the client or prospect does not perceive or admit to having an issue, a problem, a challenge, some difficulty they want to overcome, or even an opportunity they want to ignite then they will not perceive the need to change what they are doing now.

And even if they can see it or feel it they may have various reasons why they don’t want to do anything about it now. Here are some reasons why people may not want to change:

  • They don’t see a reason to change; they can’t be bothered to change; they see it as too hard/difficult to change; they are too afraid to change
  • They have had a bad experience with something similar to what you are offering and don’t want to go there again
  • They do not have the budget to take on what you are offering right now or ever
  • They feel it’s not the right time to change; or there is too little time to achieve the change they want
  • They are distracted by other influences telling them what to do or how to think

Even if we flash all the benefits as to why they should change, psychologically most human beings are more likely to go without if they cannot really feel the true pain of their situaiton.

And if this is the case, we cannot offer a solution if there is no problem or no perceived problem that is painful enough to be addressed now.

We must first recognise that pains, problems, issues, needs, opportunities, call them what you will, come in many shapes and sizes.

Our first job as salespeople is to find out if the client has a problem which they recognised as being important. We must be good detectives and look at the following:

Reasons for their issues?

  • What is the root cause for their problem?
  • Help them find out ‘Why am I having trouble?’

What can we do as salespeople?

  • Uncover the things we cannot influence
  • Identify the things we can influence
  • Select the things we can educate them on to help them deal with their problem

When we are dealing with more complex business problems we need to identify the “Pain Chain”.  The Pain Chain describes the departments and functions that are affected by a decision or action taken by another function of the business.

In summary, you cannot help someone if they do not want help or not perceive needing help. It is our job as salespeople to properly diagnose our clients’ siutations first and then determine if they do indeed have a pain (whether they know it or not) or not. And then act accordingly from there.

Author: Sue Barrett, 


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