Humans are complex creatures by nature. We have millions of thoughts a day, and our emotions can change from positive to negative and back to positive in a very short time. But one thing remains constant about us when it comes to our motivation:
We are always either moving toward pleasure OR moving away from pain.
This one concept is critically important for telecom agents to understand when you are selling your services. Think about it…there really are no other options besides increasing pleasure or avoiding pain. Consider any action you take on a regular basis and ask yourself why you do it. It’s either because you want more pleasure or less pain.
For example, you:
- Pay your mortgage and credit card bills on time to avoid late fees (avoid pain)
- You work out regularly at the gym to stay healthy and avoid disease (avoid pain) but also to look good on the beach (increase pleasure)
- You indulge in your favorite past-time or hobby because it makes you feel happy and alive (increase pleasure)
What is even more essential to understand is this:
MOST people are FAR more motivated by fear of pain than by promise of pleasure.
You can see evidence of this everywhere. Like the person who opts to go to driving school in order to avoid increased car insurance rates, or the child who works hard in school to avoid being grounded or missing the big dance. We simply are more likely to take action when we know the lack of action will result in some type of pain or punishment for us.
What does this mean for your telecom sales business? Plenty! When you understand that your prospective customer has fears and potential pain points, you can position your sales messages to those fears. Here’s a simple process for doing this effectively.
- During the discovery phase, try to uncover as many fears and pain points your potential customer has as possible. They may fear not being able to scale fast enough with their growing business, or potentially losing business by having unreliable services. The trick here is that they may not use these words to describe their fears. Instead, they will say things like, "We need guaranteed uptime," or "Scalability is important to us." It’s your job to take what they say and uncover the underlying pain or fear.
- Organize the pain points and fears you have uncovered in a list for easy reference. If you use a CRM tool, you may want to put them in there so others working on the account can see them as well.
- When presenting your solution, begin by reviewing your prospect’s fears and pain points. Then show them how your service will greatly reduce or eliminate that fear. Refer back to the pain points frequently throughout your presentation. The more pain your prospect feels, the more likely he or she will be to take action to move away from it.
- Use the pain points you have discovered to outline a "why now" statement. Your prospect will quickly take action when there is a very strong reason to do so associated with his or her pain points and fears. Are rate increases happening at the end of the month? Is the company in danger of maxing out their bandwidth and losing potential business? When you give your prospective customer strong reasons to act now, your success closing ratio will greatly increase.
Remember, most of us are more motivated by trying to avoid pain than by seeking pleasure. The better you understand this principle, and the better you incorporate it into your sales techniques and presentations, the more successful you will be!
Please share any questions or examples you have of this principle in action in the comments below.