The Salesperson’s Biggest Problem

Man with Problem

Over the years, I’ve spent a lot of time in sales meetings and trainings for selling new products. It seems that the most talked about points are product features and benefits, and how to overcome a prospect’s objections. The problem with that approach is that the focus is on the wrong things.

I can say that because I have learned (the hard way) that prospect’s don’t care any more about your product or service than the man in the moon…UNLESS they feel a pressing problem that your product or service will relieve.

Having said that, I could go on from there ranting for a hundred pages on the common sales procedures that try to ascribe the problem to to anyone with a temperature and a pulse, but I won’t. I’ll save that for another time.

For now, let me just say that prospects who are likely to actually become your customers are people who have the problem that your product solves before you talk to them. And they already feel the pain of the problem. They also have the means to buy, or they are not qualified prospects.

The Real Problem Is Mother Nature

Mother Nature is the problem because most salespeople are not aware of how they are working against her.

Your natural tendency is to show an outward expression of pride in yourself and your product. Then you go out and make a logical argument for the wonders of your product, trying to express yourself in a way that will cause the prospect to think highly of you.

It’s much better to appeal to their interests.

Let’s Think About That For a Moment

If (and it’s true) that you naturally want to talk about your product and yourself, doesn’t it make sense that the prospect also wants the same for him or herself?

That means that your product or service is not the main issue of your sales presentation. Really? Then what is the issue?

And The Issue Is

Your prospect’s problem and the pain it causes. That’s what you need to talk about, if you really want to be successful in helping that prospect get relief from the pain by making a sale.

What People Don’t Buy

People don’t buy cars. Some buy sound systems with four wheels, some people buy upholstery, some buy fuel economy, some buy pride of ownership, and they all get a better way to get around in the process.

People buy cars for pain relief, or to fulfill a desire, because they don’t want to walk. Some buy cars because they want status and luxury. It just so happens that, in this example, what they really want is packaged in a car. Most car buyers are actually satisfying an interest that doesn’t relate to transportation.

People buy to relieve pain and/or to fulfill a desire. The deeper their pain or desire, the more the more extravagant they are willing to be, and they are willing to pay more.

Your Sales Presentation

You need to listen to your prospect; let them tell you what their pain is, then you will need to do little more than show how your product or service will relieve their pain and have them sign the order. You will sell much more by listening than by talking.

When your prospect has articulated his or her pain to you, and you offer the solution at a fair price, with good terms, how can they reasonably object? If, at that point, they do object, you may have made a mistake when you qualified them as a good prospect, or the timing may be wrong.

It is all about fulfilling the prospect’s need to be accepted and recognized; and his or her need to find pain relief caused by a real problem, on terms they are comfortable with, at a price they can afford.

Coming Soon

Next week I will follow this post up with the two words of a sales presentation that could be considered the goose that lays golden eggs. They are two words that will lead your prospect to reveal his or her problem and pain to you.

Do you know, or can you guess what those two words are?

Submit the form below with your answer and I’ll give a shout out to everyone, and their websites, who answers correctly in next week’s post.


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