Animals are wired to move toward pleasure and away from pain. Where we can go sideways when qualifying is not uncovering if the pain our prospect feels or gain they seek to realize is enough for them to take action.
David Sandler said, “you must quantify pain.” Without quantifying what the problem is costing our prospect or what gain they’re missing out on our prospect has no way to balance their cost/lost opportunity with the investment we propose. Kind of like the sad child at the playground with no one to play with on the see saw.
There are three boxes we must check to properly quantify pain.
- Get the cost/lost opportunity to a real number – “it’s 20% of my operating costs” means nothing because we don’t know 20% of what. 20% of $100 is very different from 20% of $1 million.
- Confirm that that number is enough for our prospect to care about or take action on – “it’s costing me $10,000 a year.” “Is that enough to care about?” “No, I’m a Fortune 500 company. That’s a rounding error.” Versus “it’s costing me $10,000 a year.” “Is that enough to take action to fix?” “Absolutely, I’m a solo practitioner. That’s money that could be going to my family.”
- Confirm that our prospect will take action – asking something like “is doing nothing an option?” is a great start down this path because our prospect only has two answers – no or yes. No matter which they say our next question is a soft, gently, “why?” Might sound like, “is doing nothing an option here?” “No.” “Thank you. Help me understand why.” “Because if I don’t fix this I will lose my job/not get a bonus/stay stressed.”
If our prospect says “yes” to the last question they’re probably disqualified. At least for now.
If our prospect says “no” then we lay out the next steps in our process for moving forward and confirm that our prospect is comfortable following those steps.
Just because a number sounds big to us doesn’t mean it’s big enough for our prospect to take action on. Sandler Rule, they can’t argue with their own data. When it comes out of our prospect’s mouth it’s real. When we say something like, “wow, that sounds like a lot” we’re a pushy salesperson.
Until next time… go sell something.