Here’s the secret of successful businesses: Become a shrink.
I don’t mean you need a sheepskin, but you must learn to care about people’s problems and needs and effectively respond to them.
So how do you do this? You must ask each customer a series of questions to find out what their problem is.
“How are things going in your business?”
“Where are things breaking down in the office?”
“What is that problem costing you now in time and money?”
“How is this affecting your team’s productivity?”
“What is causing you the most stress in your life right now?
“What do you need to help you reach your personal financial goals?”
“How is this problem at the office affecting you personally?”
“What would it feel like to get rid of this problem?
Explore such questions and ask “why?” to answers that seem vague, until you get to the core feeling — usually pain or the need to avoid it. Then – and only then – can you determine if your product or service can fix their pain.
If it can’t fix it, you must tell them! You will gain good will and credibility if you turn down a prospect when your product or service is not a good fit. Instead, refer him or her to another business, and this person will tell everyone they know about you – how you helped them solve their problem. It’s magic!
But, if your product meets the need, then present your solution in terms of how it will fix the pain. Stress benefits rather than features. For example: “You’ve told me that you’ve been embarrassed by your mismatched widgets. This widget is yellow, and it will match all of the other yellow widgets in your home and you can feel great about how it looks.”
We don’t usually do this when we sell because we are focused on our pain. Our need to meet a quota, make a commission or build our business. Even if we don’t communicate it verbally, we communicate it nonverbally by being pushy or overly nervous. If we are genuinely concerned about our customer’s welfare instead of our own, all of that disappears as we focus on the other person.
(Next: How focusing on your customer’s pain helps you overcome price objections.)