By Jim Dunn
Why should we buy from you? What makes you different than my current _______? Why should I invite you in to see me? We are already doing business with you so why should we look at this new product /service?
Sound familiar? A bit tired of hearing this? Get used to it. This is simply what customers and prospects say to sales people. And we can’t fault the prospect/ customer for asking the question. They don’t have time to waste, and they need a good reason to spend time with salespeople who know how to sell value–whether through a meeting or to view a new product or service.
We also know that people buy emotionally. In fact, we know that people are motivated to action by moving towards what they want, or they move away from what they perceive as pain (something that can hurt).
Here is the problem: sales people try to get appointments by discussing features and benefits (intellectual not emotional), or use “I’ll be in the area, can you see me?” The outcome? Lack of new appointments. Or if a prospect is interested in the product/service the objection often is “your price is higher than your competitor.” Most everyone (your competition) has basically the same features and benefits or with slight differences. Thus, we have become a commodity.
So what is the remedy? Sound different, be different and influence towards what we know about human behavior. We need to know our customers and prospects so well that we can tell them in 30 seconds what we do, what problems we solve and why they would want to invest more time to hear if we can be a good fit.
How do we do this? Let’s structure a good pain pitch with three elements.
1: Make it personal to whom you are speaking (is it a CEO, CFO, what decision maker?).
2: Use emotional words (frustrated, concerned, difficulty with, excited about); remember people are motivated by gain or moving from a problem (pain). Use these words either in a 3rd party story, such as “some of my clients have made a change to our product because they were frustrated by the amount of times they had to slow down production or even shut it down to change the current part.”
3: Take it away. Ask a question in the negative, such as, “I’m not sure this is an issue for you?” or “you’re probably going to tell me that this isn’t an issue for you?”
Watch what happens. Prospects are not accustomed to sales people asking questions in the negative. People hate to be sold or have sales people sound so positive; this approach is different. What’s the goal? Get the prospect to “admit” to an issue. That’s all, or disqualify early without wasting a lot of time with someone. If the prospect says they have a problem, then we’ll discuss the next strategy later, if not, then perhaps we need more bonding, trust, whatever to enhance the relationship.
Jim Dunn is a Sandler Trainer located in Charlotte, North Carolina.