Searching For Your Prospect’s Pain Can Limit You!

by Paul Castain on October 7, 2012

From the beginning of time, we were taught that we have to uncover the “pain”.

So, being the good law abiding aspiring sales rock stars that we are, we put all this artillery fire on searching for pain . .

that may or may not be there!

I see  two flaws to this logic.

1)   If there isn’t any pain . . . we’re screwed!

2)   If there is pain . . . we might walk away from that meeting with limited information.


Because we were so busy focusing on pain that we, most probably didn’t probe (my inner third grader is laughing at that word) for opportunity.

Have you ever really thought about the opportunities that your prospect is looking for?

I’m talking about things like . . .

Happy Customers (internal and external)

Happy Shareholders

Happy Employees

Increasing Productivity

Increasing Profitability

Being first to market

Time Out . . .

You might, very well be probing those areas, but . . .

Are you doing it in the context of pain or opportunity? In other words, if you ask a question that is framed to uncover pain and your prospect doesn’t feel pain in that area . . . you missed the opportunity to see if its an opportunity that they’d really like to embrace.

I could go on and on and obviously I’m being incredibly general but . . .

You should know the specifics in your business.

Here’s  a quick assignment . . .

Think about this as your prospect does. In order to do that, I want you to mentally fire yourself and rehire yourself as your prospect.

Think of as many of the opportunities as you can.

Start this off as just a general exercise then . . .

Try it with a specific client, then a few more, then move on to your prospects.

Doing this silly little exercise will give you fresh insight into other areas you need to probe and we can even back this up a step and say that these are areas you might want to include in the research portion of your meticulous pre call planning.

Sales Managers . . .

Might be a really cool thing to get your team discussing in your next sales meeting.

Your Turn . . .

What other “opportunities” can we add to that list (general or specific to your industry) Let’s see if we can get a substantial list going so we can help spark additional thoughts!

Last Chance . . .

Enrollment for my Time Management webinar ends Monday, the 8th at 3:00 pm. Click here for details.

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