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Finding Pain to Improve Selling

In order to improve selling and  identify which prospects it makes sense to keep talking with, we need to effectively find out if things are great, things are OK, or things could be better for the prospect.  If things are just OK or could be better, pain could exist and getting the conversation focused on this pain will yield strong benefits.  On the other side of that scenario, if things are great or if we are not able to find pain, there will be some very powerful factors that will go against everything that we try to do.


No Pain – No Reason to Meet

If we are at the beginning of the sales cycle, the best goal for a cold call is to get the prospect to agree to a first conversation.  But if we do not uncover any pain that the prospect is experiencing in the area that our products or services affect, then there is no real reason for the prospect to meet with us beyond the cold call.

To demonstrate this, let’s use an example of a doctor’s office placing a cold call to a potential patient.  Of course this does not happen in the real world, but if it did below are two extreme scenarios that we can look at to see how important pain is to improve selling.

Scenario A – No Pain

Caller: Hi, this is Dr. White’s office.  How are you feeling?
Prospect: I feel great.  Never better.  Running in a marathon next week.
Caller:  Oh I see.  Would you like me to schedule an appointment for you next week?
Prospect: No, I feel great.  No need.  Thank you for your call.

Scenario B – Extreme Pain

Caller: Hi, this is Dr. White’s office.  How are you feeling?
Prospect: Horrible.  My head is pounding.  Can’t sleep.  Can’t eat.
Caller:  Oh I see.  Would you like me to schedule an appointment for you next week?
Prospect: Yes.  But is next week the earliest I can get in?

What we can take from that example is that if our goal is to transition to a first conversation or schedule an appointment, if we don’t find any pain, it might not make sense for the prospect to meet with us.  And to take that one step further, if we can’t find any pain, it also does not make sense for us to spend our valuable time meeting with the prospect.  Not giving prospects a reason to meet will not help to improve selling.



No Pain – No Change

Let’s look at a scenario where there is no pain identified but due to effective sales techniques and strong relationships, we were able to establish discussions with a prospect and create a lead and opportunity.  In this scenario, the prospect may be very excited and interested in our products and services, but when we get to the end of the sales cycle and it is time to get the prospect to execute the transaction, things could possibly stall out or the purchase can get canceled due to the fact that there is not enough of a need to move forward due to the lack of pain.  In more simple terms, if there is no pain there is no reason to change.


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Launch Pad Solutions provides cold call training helping sales pros to improve selling.


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This article was published on Saturday 19 November, 2011.
Back to main topic: Finding Prospect Pain
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Find Pain to Improve Selling

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