No Pain Often Means No Sale

In one of my previous articles I talked about the power of Pain & Pleasure Selling and how this is unpinned within every human emotion to try to escape pain and get into a state of pleasure.


If you missed this article then do give it a read here:


Well on this topic of Pain & Pleasure Selling I thought I would use an apt example to emphasise the point.


adult alone anxious black and white

A couple of years ago before I developed the concept of Pain & Pleasure Selling I was prospecting an Estate Agents (Realtor) close to where I lived. As with every sales opportunity it was challenging to even get airtime with the prospect, but after months of prospecting and nurturing them I was granted my first meeting.


The meeting went fantastically well, I built a great level of rapport, I learnt about their business, I invoked their interest in our solution and I was able to agree and book in next steps. So it all sounds great right?! But there was one thing I was aware of even at this initial stage…there wasn’t a lot of pain. All in all, my competitor seemed to be doing a good job.


But tenacious as ever I opted to progress full steam ahead in the hope that there was more to uncover, maybe they’re not telling me the full story at this stage. Months of work ensued after this point where I and many colleagues invested hours of man time in assessing their systems, additional meetings, writing up reports, putting together propositions etc.


I literally followed my proven sales process to a tee, I applied every activity step that would add weight to my proposition from speaking to references to visiting our head office to getting a trial of the solution itself.


The outcome after all of this work? Well I didn’t attain the sale!


I was flabbergasted, I honestly could not believe that they didn’t opt for us. So in my begrudged capacity I reviewed every single activity I conducted in a state of paranoia, questioning where had I gone wrong? Had I been too pushy? Were we too expensive? Was there a powerful activity step I missed?


Everything I assessed pointed towards the fact that I should have made the sale, that was until I looked at their pain. It was then that I realised that they didn’t have enough pain to move.


Their deliberation was the risk factor of moving elsewhere which outweighed the level of pain they were in, hence they opted to stay the same.


It was this situation that gave me the breakthrough for Pain & Pleasure Selling in that in every sales interaction we should be searching for both pain and pleasure.


If there is very little pain, then chances are, no matter how good you’re at selling, you’ll struggle to attain the sale.


So next time you have a sales engagement if you find that there is very little pain it should send alarm bells off. In such circumstance you should evaluate whether it’s worth pursuing the prospect in the short term. You should ask the question “Is my time better invested elsewhere?”


So the takeaway is always look for pain, if you can’t find any then chances are you won’t make the sale.


For more sales insights such as this do follow the blog and look out for my soon to be released book Sales Icon: Selling in the Shadows.

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