The Power of Uncovering True Pain in Sales

In the world of sales, it’s easy to jump to conclusions when a prospect shares a problem. We often provide a solution that seems to fit the surface-level symptoms. However, to truly understand the pain and close the sale, we need to dig deeper. That’s where the Sandler pain funnel comes in – it’s a methodical and systematic tool that helps us uncover the real problem and the emotions behind it.

What is the Sandler pain funnel?

Pain is a powerful emotion that drives action. Think about it – when you break your arm, you don’t shop around for the best deal on getting it fixed. You rush to the nearest emergency room. This concept applies to sales as well. People buy emotionally and justify their purchases logically. The pain funnel helps us uncover that emotional pain in a systematic way.

The pain funnel starts with generic questions and gradually narrows down as we gather more information. For example, if a prospect mentions that their current supplier always delivers late, our instinct might be to brag about our on-time delivery. But do we really know how late the supplier is? Does it even matter? Instead of jumping to conclusions, we should dig deeper and ask questions like, “How late are they? What happens when delivery is late?”

By using the pain funnel, we avoid making assumptions that can derail the sales process.

Pain doesn’t discriminate based on wealth

It’s easy to assume that prospects with plenty of cash aren’t experiencing any pain. However, that may not be the case. Let’s consider an accountant who met with a prospective client sitting on a million and a half dollars in cash. At first glance, it seemed like money wasn’t a pain point for them. But as the accountant asked more questions and dug deeper into their financial situation, he discovered tax rule violations that could jeopardize their status with the IRS.

Despite having ample funds, the prospect was not in an obvious state of pain. But by uncovering their true problems, the accountant was able to win their business.

The lesson here is to never make assumptions based solely on the problems people initially share. Dig deeper, ask questions, and uncover the real pain points. That’s how we can truly understand if we have a solution.

Unleash your inner doctor

When we think of respected professions, doctors often come to mind. They are trained to ask questions and dig deeper into their patients’ symptoms. They don’t stop at surface-level information; they aim to uncover the root cause of the pain. This approach also applies to sales.

Imagine a doctor dismissing a patient who says everything is great. It would be ludicrous! Instead, doctors ask questions like, “What brought you in today?” and continue probing until they get to the specific pain and the part of the body that’s bothering the patient. By doing so, they find a better course of action for treatment. The same methodology works in sales – digging deeper allows us to find the right solution for the prospect’s pain.

Asking the right questions

Uncovering pain is a skill that takes time to develop, just like becoming a doctor. But to get you started, here are some questions that can help you look beyond the initial pain shared by your prospect:

  • Tell me more about that…
  • Can you be more specific?
  • Give me an example…
  • How long has that been a problem?
  • What have you tried to do about that?
  • Has anything you’ve tried worked?
  • How much do you think this has cost you?
  • How do you feel about how much this has cost you?
  • What kind of trouble does that cause you?
  • Have you given up trying to deal with this problem?

Using these questions as a starting point, you can dive deeper into your prospect’s pain and truly understand their needs.

Remember, sales is not just about providing surface-level solutions. It’s about uncovering the true pain and offering the right remedy. By utilizing the Sandler pain funnel and asking the right questions, you’ll be on your way to becoming a sales professional who understands and connects with their prospects.

Zenith City News