Friday, July 17, 2009

Pick the Scab

Sorry, we don't mean to be gross. It's just that it's such a great way to remember to probe further into your prospect's pain. Sales trainer Kelley Robertson explains:

"Sales professionals usually ask a few questions in order to gain a better understanding of their prospect's situation. However, most of them don't probe deep enough into the size and scope of the problem or situation. I remember hearing a great phrase from another sales trainer/coach (I think it was Tom Stoyan). He suggested that salespeople "pick at their prospect's scab," referring to the pain or problem that a prospect may be facing."

"Your objective in taking this approach is to help your prospect discover the implication or impact of an issue or problem," says Robertson. "When you talk to a new prospect and they express a particular concern or problem, take a few moments and probe a bit deeper."

"For example, if they say they experience a few customer complaints ask them how often they get complaints. You may discover that a "few complaints" actually means three or four per month. Follow up by asking about the financial impact of those problems. In other words, how much does it cost the company to resolve those problems? Then, ask how those problems affect the prospect in terms of stress, time, and aggravation. This helps the prospect see the bigger picture and understand the impact of the problem on their business and themselves."

Pick at your prospect's scab and dramatically increase the value of your solution.

Kelley Robertson, author of The Secrets of Power Selling helps sales professionals and businesses discover new techniques to improve their sales and profits. Receive a free copy of 100 Ways to Increase Your Sales by subscribing to his free newsletter available at


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