Sales Tip - Find the Pleasure or Find the Pain

Greg Beverly

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You can instantly increase your sales conversion rate by digging deep enough to find your prospects pleasure or pain. Now, we are not going to debate which of these sells better, pleasure or pain. Some of the brightest minds in sales and human psychology disagree on this point and I have found my own experience and those of my clients and students to be inconclusive. Personally, I believe that it depends upon the prospect or even the circumstances. But with the right questions, you'll know what motivates your particular prospect and use it to help them buy.

Anytime a prospect comes into your store or invites you to their store or office to discuss your product or service, they have an interest. And they have an interest for a reason. If they currently don't have your product or service, then there is something about living without it that is causing them pain or they are imagining the pleasure that will be theirs if they buy. Perhaps they already own a variation of your product or service, then they are most likely not completely satisfied with what they have and it is your job to find out why.

Here is a real life example of using this principle. I have a client who sells computer systems. She was invited to a prospects office to discuss upgrading their current equipment. When she walked in it was obvious that the equipment was old and outdated. But rather than immediately launch into how much more efficient a new system would make the office, she asked questions instead and found the real issue. Actually, as far as the owner of the business was concerned, he had no problem with the efficiency of his current system. It actually did all he wanted it to do. His employees were happy with it as well. That is except for one.

It seems that the owner's wife came in two days a week to help out. She had been doing so for several years with no problems. However, she recently began taking some computer classes in the evening to help her to help him. In doing so, she had been exposed to better equipment and now knowing what she was missing had become frustrated with the outdated equipment in the office. And she was letting him know about it. Now, my client knew what to address. She knew that the owner himself was happy with the system he currently had. She didn't have to “sell him" on the fact that the equipment that she provided “would increase efficiency by 27% and save the company $20,000 this year. " No, all she had to do was show him how it would make his wife happy!

By taking the time to ask the right questions rather than assuming, she made the sale and made it quickly. She found his pain…the pain of his wife constantly insisting that he needed to upgrade. And she showed him how she could alleviate that pain. No efficiency figures, no cost benefit ratios, no latest and greatest software and hardware demonstrations. Simply, “Your wife will be very happy with this system and therefore so will you!"

So simple, yet so rarely used. We have so much knowledge of why our product is the best that we can't wait to share all of it with our prospects. The truth is, most of them don't care. They only care about what we are going to do for them. Help them find pleasure or help them avoid pain. And in this case, the prospect was looking for someone to take away his pain. And taking away his pain was as simple as making his wife happy. Case closed. Sale made.

Greg Beverly, CPA, MBA has more than 21 years experience helping sales professionals to increse their sales and their bank accounts. He has helped thousands achieve their goals in life. As an author, teacher, mentor and helper, he desires to see everyone reach their true potential. You can learn how to live your dreams by visiting


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