(First of a series on sales)
When Saturday Night Live spoofs former President Bill Clinton, they’ll frequently use one of his most famous lines, “I feel your pain.”
You probably learned in Psychology 101 that everything we human do is motivated by two basic emotions: pain and pleasure. As Mickey Boyer of Sandler Training explained, we’re pretty simple creatures at our core. We make all decisions based on avoidance of present or future pain or to obtain present or future pleasure.
As business owners or sales reps, what we must do to be successful is to tap into one of those motivators. Sounds simple, right?
Then why do we develop “elevator speeches” that sound like: “I market integrated, multi-level solutions for matrix organizations experiencing cyclical financial impact from market instabilities”? Such a “speech” doesn’t uncover pain, it causes it!
In fact, we can’t “sell” anything. We can help customers “buy” from us by providing solutions to their problems or by offering a product that will bring them pleasure, but we do not have the power to sell them anything.
The problem is that we often think we know what their problem or desire is, and we treat them as though we do. But the truth is that frequently the customer hasn’t even admitted to themselves what their problem is, so how can we assume to know?
At this point you may be thinking – “Hey, wait a minute. I’m not a psychologist. I didn’t go into business to do solve people’s problems; I started my business to sell stuff.” If this is you, here’s my prediction: You will fail.
(Next: The secret of all sales and business success)