When you’re conveying the value of your product or service to a prospect, you usually link your solution to either pain or gain. What I mean by this is that you offer something that will either address an existing issue (pain) or create added value (gain). Which of these methods is most effective? It is my studied observation that linking to the alleviation of pain is far more effective than linking to the promise of gain. If you can’t find pain, make some and then eliminate it!
One of my friends (who we’ll call Bob) is a rock star efficiency sales professional in the Midwest, and he told me a story about a time he was selling air quality systems to a local laboratory. Bob knew that the researchers in this particular lab were often working 16- to 17-hour days, so he started looking for the “pain.” If he could find a way to make these researchers more comfortable during their long hours at work, he knew he would be able to convince them to buy.
Bob discovered that the lab refrigerators (of which there were many) were producing so much extra heat that the HVAC system could not maintain design temperature. So, did he go in there and talk about how many kilowatt-hours his system could save the laboratory? No. He told the overheated researchers that he could make them more comfortable. He found a way to eliminate their pain.
Your prospects won’t necessarily tell you what they don’t like about their current situation – it’s your job to figure out what pain they might have and then explain how your solution would eliminate it. In many cases, your prospect won’t realize just how much pain they are experiencing (think “boiling frog syndrome”) until you point it out.