“Telling people anything doesn’t really work. You want people to come to ideas on their own.” – Jeff Kirchick in today’s Tip 792
How do you established and solve their pain?
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Scott Ingram: You’re listening to the Daily Sales Tips podcast and I’m your host, Scott Ingram. Today’s tip comes from Jeff Kirchick. Jeff is Vice President of Enterprise Sales at Next Caller, a Y-Combinator backed technology company that sells authentication and fraud prevention technology to Fortune 500 brands across the US. Here he is:
Jeff Kirchick: So today I’m going to talk about an idea called “Getting to the yes, before the yes.” So what do I mean by that? Well, before we even go that far, let’s take one giant step back about how you sell anything and not to oversimplify things. But I would say that there’s really two major parts of a selling process. One is that you need to establish pain. And the second part is that you need to show after you’ve established some sort of pain that you have a solution that can solve for that pain, that you have something that can alleviate the pain.
Now, in my experience, that’s second piece. As long as you’re selling something that actually works is not as challenging as the first part. In fact, I would go so far as to say that I would rather sell to somebody who’s already working with one of my competitors, because I know that they’ve already established pain. I know that they’ve already invested in solving their pain. And really all I need to do is show that I’ve built a better mousetrap than my competitor.
So what we really want to do is focus on this first part about showing somebody that they have pain or establishing that they have pain. And when it comes to pain, sometimes it’s fairly straightforward. So think about if you have a toothache and you go to the dentist. You know that you have a toothache, you know that it hurts. You go to the dentist. It’s pretty straightforward. As long as he or she can show you that they can fix it, you go forward with it. But sometimes you go to the dentist and you have a cavity, and you have no idea that you have a cavity until the dentist shows you that you have a cavity after taking some x-rays of your mouth. And that scenario, you have no idea that you have pain, but you’re showing that you have pain. And presumably, at that point, it’s not too difficult for the dentist to convince you that you should get that cavity filled.
So the same thing happens when you’re trying to sell something to a prospect. Now, the problem is that when you’re selling anything, just telling somebody that they have pain, it doesn’t really work. And in fact, telling people anything doesn’t really work. You want people to come to ideas on their own. People believe in ideas, more strongly when they come to the conclusions on their own. So the same is true for establishing pain. And one way that I like to establish pain is kind of through the back door. It’s by not even getting out in the open that there is pain, it’s a more passive way of establishing pain. And it’s what I call “Getting the yes before the yes.” And what it is, is it’s really getting the customer to agree that there is an alternative scenario to the one that they live in today that is more enticing to them.
If you get the customer to agree that this alternative scenario, which ideally is a word with your product, is something that excites them. You can literally ask them, you know, how much does that excite you on a scale of 1 to 10? Is it something that you would pursue, et cetera, et cetera? If you can get them to agree that it would be a high priority for them to go into this alternative scenario, basically they are more or less saying that they are on board with this idea that is your product. And they don’t even realize that it’s your product. All you need to do at that point is show them that you are able to deliver that alternative universe than the one that they already live in.
So if you were to use an example, you know, if I’m selling in my day job, I’m selling call center fraud and authentication technology. And if I were selling that technology to a customer, and they said that they had, let’s say a couple million dollars of fraud losses every year, the hypothetical question would be, you know, if you could bring that number down to less than a hundred thousand dollars, how exciting would that be for you? Most people will probably say that that’s very exciting, right? So I’ve shifted the onus of the conversation from needing to show that there is pain to me needing to show that I can solve that problem that I can deliver on this promise of bringing the fraud losses down from over $2 million a year to less than a hundred thousand dollars a year. What you’ve done through this exercise is that you have got your customer to passively admit that they have pain. They have not overtly said, yes, I have pain, but they have more or less admitted that they have pain because they have admitted that there is a world that is a lot better than the world that they live in. And by doing it that way, you change the onus of the conversation from needing to establish pain, to needing to establish that you have something that solves the pain.
Scott Ingram: For more from Jeff, check out his new book: Authentic Selling: How to Use the Principles of Sales in Everyday Life which is now available on Amazon, and of course we have those links for you at DailySales.Tips/792
Once you’ve picked up your copy of Jeff’s book. Be sure to come back tomorrow for another great sales tip. Thanks for listening!