The Divinyls might have thought “There’s a fine line between pleasure and pain”, but when it comes to selling, there’s a stark difference whenlack-of-confidence it comes to motivating prospects to take action.

This is the second article in the “Closing more business” series.

You can read part one “Can you segue” here.

To quickly recap, to be successful in selling, you must control the agenda and have a structured selling process.

Here’s one we teach.

  1. The Prospect’s Situation
  2. The Prospect’s Desired Outcomes
  3. Impact of Achieving Their Outcomes
  4. Challenges in the Way of Achieving Outcomes
  5. Implications of Challenges Sabotaging Outcomes
  6. Possibilities of Overcoming Challenges
  7. Actions you are willing to take to achieve your goals
  8. Future Pace
  9. About You
  10. Presenting Your Services
  11. Confirming Commitment
  12. Program Overview and Price

In part one we covered asking about the Prospect’s situation, the outcomes they’re looking for and the positive impact of achieving them.

But they wouldn’t be talking to you if they knew how to get there!

So your job is to dig into the challenges they’re experiencing. Why can’t they do this themselves? Is it a lack of information? Resources? Time? Maybe they can do it, but want to outsource it instead?

To put it bluntly, are they in real pain?

Do they really, really want to solve the problem? Or are they just on a fishing expedition and wasting your time.

Let me digress for a moment on the topic of pleasure and pain.

As a motivator for action, pain is orders of magnitude more effective than pleasure.

We will move far faster and further to avoid pain.

Note however that pleasure or aspiration is all fine and dandy, but if the pain involved to get there (read effort) is greater than the imagined payoff, people will do nothing.

Or they will start enthusiastically and end with a whimper at the first sign of pain.

So your job is to find the pain (of not getting their outcome) and crank it up!

I met a gentleman who sells vehicle tracking systems the other day.

Here’s an imagined conversation he could have with a prospect.

“You’ve told me that some drivers goof off and you feel they waste time, petrol and money by not being where they should be. What’s this costing you? In time, money, frustration, irate clients?”

Quick tip: Try and get quantifiable answers. It’s costing $X a day which totals $Y per year. One good client leaving costs, $Z dollars etc.

“So what would fixing this mean to you and your bottom line?”

Remember to look for an emotional payoff. How will they feel once the problem is solved? i.e. What’s in it for them personally!

But what could come in the way?

In his case there could be a driver revolt. They might try and disable the equipment. So what’s he willing to do to overcome this? How important is the solution to him really?

Now comes one of the most important, but neglected parts of the process.

The future pace.

“Pretend it’s X years in the future. You’ve achieved [list the major 2 – 3 things they want].

Tell me the major highlights that have occurred and how you feel. Looking back are you happy with the decision you made today to work together with me?”

“It’s 2 years from now. You’ve installed the GPS tracking system in all your trucks. You now know exactly where each is. Productivity has increased by 27%, fuel costs have come down by 18% and client satisfaction rating is at an all time high. How do you feel?”

Believe me when I say this one simple exercise can create a profound emotional shift in your prospect. It’s akin to a sports person visualising winning the race.

Only then should you move towards closing the sale and gaining commitment to move forward.

We’ll cover that structure and how to handle any objections that might come up in the next episode.

In the meantime, if you’re not closing business with prospects who you feel could use your services, call us for some specialised sales coaching. Small tweaks in your process could make a major difference in your results.

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