Getting through to your prospect by understanding their pain is one of the biggest challenges in sales. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the different levels so that you can master this important skill.
February 18, 2022
Have you ever been on a sales call with a prospect where everything feels like a good fit, but when the time comes to close them, they hesitate? Whatever their objection, they refuse to pull the trigger. Just about every salesperson finds themselves in this situation. If you can relate, don’t worry. You’re not alone.
This is a common experience among sales professionals. It’s part of the job description, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything about it.
Most of the time, the problem is because you’re going in with the wrong approach. Maybe you’re following outdated advice that is effectively tying one hand behind your back. Maybe your previous sales job taught you some ineffective practices. Whatever the case. the good news is that there’s a way to fix it.
The key to succeeding in sales, for the most part, comes down to knowing the right questions to ask. But before that, you need to understand why these questions are important.
The typical advice that many sales coaches give is that to close sales, you need to ask questions to get to the root of the prospect’s problems. And while this is correct, it only paints a portion of the whole picture.
What you need to remember is that many prospects don’t know what their real problems are. They’ll tell you what they need help with, but that’s only the first level of their pain. To be a consistent high-ticket closer, you need to know how to dig deeper—that’s the real challenge.
That’s your job as a salesperson. That’s the ‘why’ behind the effectiveness of question-based selling.
Your ability to connect with your prospect on the call is what makes or breaks the sale. You need to ask questions. You need to listen. You need to learn about their pain because this is the only way you can solve their problem.
However—and this is really important—you have to remember that your prospect will never give you the real answer. Instead, they will focus on the ego-level pain points they think are the problem:
This is the pain your prospect wants to share with you. When you ask questions and dive into what their problem is, this is the only thing they will focus on. Why? Because it’s easy.
They want a miracle; for you to come in and fix their ads, lead gen, or whatever else.
As a high-ticket closer, you need to ask questions to first determine what your prospect needs help with—and then make sure to listen. You need to be able to read between the lines because what you learn at this level leads you to what comes next.
Getting to this level requires hard work that begins with listening intently to your prospect. It’s your job to get to the root cause of their pain, not keep them in their comfort zone and offer empty promises.
If all you do is fix their ads, lead gen, or traffic, you’ll only be putting a bandage over the real problem. Those at the top of their game know they have to go deeper than this, healing the wound once and for all.
How do you achieve the same effect?
You listen. You listen to them tell you about what they think their pain is. You then reflect this back to them but go deeper by turning attention to their intellectual pain points.
Your prospect won’t take you to this point. You must lead them to it by listening to them, reflecting on what you hear, and then, digging deeper. Learn about their finances and the struggles they face. Push them into facing these issues! They need to. If they’re to overcome their biggest problem, it’s the only way.
“How does this make you feel?” This may be one of the most powerful questions you can ever ask on a sales call.
If Level One was about finding out what problem your prospect needed help with, and Level Two was about asking how that was affecting their life, Level Three is about learning how it makes them feel.
At this stage, your prospect will start to open up. This is when you can start helping them face some tough issues that, until now, they kept pushing away.
You will show them that it isn’t a bunch of broken Facebook Ads that keeps them awake at night. But rather, it’s their fear of when the money runs out.
By asking this question, you help your prospect tap into the root cause of their pain. You remove all objections and resistance, allowing you to work with them and have a huge impact on their life.
You begin to learn what truly holds them back—limiting beliefs, the wrong mindset, a lack of confidence, trust, or communication—each sales call unearths a new set of emotional pain points. But whatever the call, and whoever it’s with, it’s always there.
People don’t buy based on logic. They buy on emotion. If you can get them to feel what they’re truly feeling, the sale practically closes itself. Until now, they’ve masked their pain with Level One excuses. Once in a while, they may let those intellectual pain points come forward, but they stop there and turn to a distraction to help them escape.
Yet once the Level Three emotional pain points come to the surface, they’re hard to get rid of. At that point, your prospect will realize they need to take action. They will start to see that they need help. They will see that the problem is much bigger than they imagined and that you’re the person who helped them realize it.
Your prospects will never show you their personal pain unless you dig for it. This is the difference between a true high-ticket closer and those who struggle to close a sale. This is the truth that many of the experts fail to share because getting to this point requires a lot of work.
Done properly, a career in sales is like being a therapist. You should approach the job as the person who is there to help your prospects uncover and face the problems they refuse to on their own.
Having said that, you don’t just suddenly become a high-ticket closer just by knowing this key element. You’re now aware of what it takes to succeed, but awareness alone isn’t what you need.
You need action. You need to do the work.
Learning how to understand your prospect’s problems is one of the most valuable skills you’ll ever learn. It might take years to master, but by deciding to take action now, you can start challenging yourself to become the best you can be.
That’s what The Sales Connection is here to help you with. We help sales professionals become high-ticket closers through custom-tailored strategies backed by decades of experience. Reach out to join our team or learn how we can work together.
Kayvon has over two decades of experience working with high-level closers and perfecting his sales methodologies. He has earned the title of Canada’s #1 pharmaceutical sales representative and continues to share his expertise as a keynote speaker and through his multi-million-dollar coaching program.