Pain-free selling. What a find! Are you pain free?

Pain-free selling. What a find! Are you pain free?

Written By Jeffrey Gitomer

KING OF SALES, The author of seventeen best-selling books including The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, and The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude. His live coaching program, Sales Mastery, is available at

Pain-free selling. What a find! Are you pain free?

My insurance agent came over last week to update my portfolio ofpolicies. I like to make sure I’m more than covered. I considerinsurance an asset, not an expense. Peace-of-mind and protection, not acost.

I also consider insurance among the toughest sales in the world. No onewants it, and many insurance salespeople are somewhere between bad, andpushy. It’s hard to get an appointment, and even harder to make a saleonce you get there.

HERE’S THE KEY: Pre-existing relationships must be in place to make thesale palatable, nay possible. But that’s just the premise for thismessage.

I asked my agent (who I have been friends with, and loyal to, for 15years) how he engages a prospective customer. “Well first I try to findtheir pain,” he said with that all-knowing smile. “WHAT!?” I screamed.”When did you learn that? 1972?”

He hemmed and hawed about the sales strategy he was using, but it was obvious he was embarrassed about admitting it.

Why aren’t you trying to find positive things instead of negativethings? I’ve been your customer for 15 years and you never found mypain. I never had any pain. I just needed some insurance. I wasn’thurting for insurance. The only pain I had was writing you a check. Infact, that’s STILL a pain.

We laughed. But “finding the pain” is not a bit funny in sales. In factit’s somewhere between sad and manipulative. Somewhere between negativeand dark. In short, if you want to find pain, become a doctor — peoplewill come to you with pain by the thousands. If you want to make it insales, there are other things to find.

Pain does NOT drive a sale. If you’re in a prospective customer’soffice or on any sales call here’s what to look for and here’s what touncover:
Find the friendly. All things being equal, people want to do business with their friends. No pain there.
Find the common ground. What is there in the rapport buildingthat “clicks.” Something that sparks the conversation and takes itdeeper. Smiles, things of common interest. Things that build initialcomfort — maybe even trust. No pain there.
Find the engagement. How meaningful can you make your questions so that you get to the heart of the prospect’s important issues? No pain there.
Find the need. In conversation and two-way dialog precipitatedby your questions, uncover the real needs. Find the symptoms andaddress the needs. Needs are not painful, they’re challenges that youcan convert to sales. No pain there.
Find the desire. By exposing desire you at once understand (beyond need) how important your product or service is to the prospect. No pain there.
Find the opportunity. Common ground, engagement, need, anddesire will expose the one element necessary for you to make sales:OPPORTUNITY. Your job is to discover how to take advantage of it. No pain there.
Find the difference. The difference between you and yourcompetition that the customer perceives. There may be some pain here –if the prospect thinks the competition is better than you. OUCH!
Find the unknown. Uncover something. Discover an answer that the prospect finds valuable. No pain there.
Find the value. And prove it. Perceived value is the basis for moving forward. No pain there.
Find the trust. Trust is the oil that glides the pen across the contract. No pain there.
Find the improvement or productivity. Everyone wants to improve and become more productive. No pain there.
Find the quality. I want Lexus, not Ford. Pain is selling price. OUCH!
Find the profit. Don’t “save me money.” Show me how I put money in my pocket. No pain there.
Find the decision maker. AHA! Focus attention on the person who can say YES! Spend time finding him or her. Talking to non-deciders is a pain. OUCH!
Find the elements that will make the sale happen. Uncover past history and buying motives. No pain there.
Find the urgency to buy. Once you find this, your sales cycle will be cut in half, or more. No pain there.

Once you find all these positive elements, you’ll find the final prize: the money.

The only pain in sales is self-inflicted. You shoot yourself in thefoot with manipulation, old sales tactics, being too pushy, speakingpoorly about the competition, and being unprepared.

Chances are, if you go looking for pain, you’ll lose to someone lookingfor a positive, meaningful, engaging, value-driven relationship. Onethat not only leads to an order, it leads to a relationship,testimonials, and referrals. Those are pleasures. Find those, andyou’ll get rid of the pain in your wallet.

If you want a bit more pain, go to, register if you’rea first-time visitor, and enter the word PAIN in the GitBit box.