You’re Doing It Wrong: Shifting Sales From Pain To Objectives

By , Published November 14, 2014

You’re Doing It Wrong: Shifting Sales From Pain To Objectives image objective selling.jpg 600x396

Every day, many salespeople get up in the morning, have their morning cup of coffee, and set out to find somebody with pain.

I used to work with a consultant who proudly told me that he saw his job in sales as finding the soft underbelly of the beast, stabbing it, and then being there to offer up the cure.

I’m going to argue, like a lot of others have argued in sales, that if a prospect has a need, they probably would come to you. If you have a viable product, then you have prospects actively looking because they do have a pain.

On average, here’s a look at the breakout of prospects in any given market.

10%: have pain and are actively looking for a solution.

20%: passively looking so they’re not yet feeling the pain.

70%: they have no pain and are satisfied.

Most salespeople tend to spend their time within the 10%, hoping to cure that pain.  What that creates is a situation where 90% of the market is untouched. You have salespeople chasing a very small part of the market.

That 10% is also a dangerous part of the market. We all know that 60% of buyers are through their buying journey before they reach out to the salesperson. This 10% falls into that camp. They’re looking for two things: 1) an order taker, and 2) someone to talk to about price.

Still, given all those odds, most salespeople still tend to concentrate on that part of the market. But consider this: 75% of customers who leave or switch from one vendor to another were either satisfied or completely satisfied with the vendor at the time that they switched. What was the reason behind that?  If the old perception is that the 70% are satisfied, I’m going to argue that 100% of your target market is focused on objectives.

Objectives can vary. Sometimes it’s about getting rid of the pain. Sometimes it’s about getting ahead of a regulatory event. No matter what, they all have objectives for their business, and they all have objectives around growth. Therefore, just because they don’t have pain, doesn’t mean they wouldn’t be interested in you or your product.

If you focus on objectives rather than pain, you’ll be dealing with a much bigger part of the market in a much more positive way. You’ll be able to expand your market and your opportunities.  If you work from an actionable definition of value, you’re going to be a lot more effective.

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