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Two Ways to Uncover Pain When Cold Calling for Sales

When cold calling for sales, it is critical to uncover pain that the prospect is experiencing.  Pain is essentially something that is not working well or an area that has room for improvement.  And if there is no pain, there is no reason for the prospect to make a change.  If there is no reason to change, then the lead you are trying to create will not be a qualified sales opportunity.


The challenge in this area is getting the prospect to share the pain that they have.  One reason for this is that a prospect that has answered a cold call might not be eager to open up and share information in terms of what they want or need to improve, especially if part of them is wanting to end the cold call.  The second reason that uncovering pain can be challenging is that the majority of the prospects that we cold call will not be fully aware of the pain that they have.  With these factors being what they are, there are a couple of tactics that we can use to uncover pain when cold calling for sales.


1. Ask Rating Questions

One tactic to use to uncover pain is to ask rating questions.  Rating questions are questions that ask the prospect to rate something on a scale from 1 to 10.  For example, “One a scale of 1 to 10, how happy are you with the level of service from your current provider”.  This is a much more powerful question than, “How happy are you with the level of service from your current provider”.


One benefit from this type of question is that it gives you more information by giving you a more detailed or precise answer.  Continuing with the example above, without the rating part of the question, the prospect may have said, “we are very happy”.  And if you ask them to rate their happiness, they may give you a score of 8.  This helps you to gather more information when cold calling for sales but the real power is what you can do after they give you the rating.


Regardless of rating that the prospect gives us, we then have the opportunity to follow that up to politely ask why they gave the rating they did and this can help to uncover pain.  Continuing again with the example, the prospect said they were very happy and gave a rating of 8.  But why do they feel it is an 8 and not a 10?  There is a gap there and politely asking what prevents them from rating at a 10 or asking what it would take to get them to feel it is a 10 are great ways to uncover pain while cold calling for sales.




2. Provide Examples

Another way to uncover pain when cold calling for sales is to provide examples of pain that other prospects have shared or experienced.  This is very simple to do and involves just sharing a brief example of pain and then check with the prospect to see if that is something they have observed or can relate to.  If there is acknowledgement from the prospect that they can relate to the example, you have just uncovered pain and can then ask questions to get the prospect to share more details.


When using this tactic, the possibility exists that the prospect will not connect with the example.  And when this is the case, you can accept and move on to another question or discussion thread.



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Launch Pad Solutions helps sales professionals to improve their results through cold call training.


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This article was published on Saturday 09 July, 2011.
Back to main topic: Finding Prospect Pain
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