In selling you get paid for solving problems and there are people with problems everywhere! Rather than problems, however, I prefer the word ‘pain’. Although everyone has problems, they may not be painful enough to do something about them.

As a soft seller my mantra is ‘No pain, No gain!’

High levels of pain make motivated buyers. We need to find the pain and especially where the consequences of doing nothing are very high. People with high levels of unresolved pain normally will want the pain to go away.

Until people FEEL the pain then, as far as they are concerned, they do not have a pain. It is our job to seek the pain, draw the prospects attention to it, and then offer to take the pain away.

A simple Mnemonic I find useful to remember where to look for pain in business is PMT:


Examples of people pains include lack of expertise, lack of flexibility, lack of supply, resistance to change, lack of a balance between work and play, lack of time, lack of harmony.

Examples of money pains include situations where companies are spending more money than they need to, situations that are causing customers to stop buying, situations that are limiting the growth of the business, situations where cash flow is not as good as it could be.

Examples of time pains are normally about not having enough time. Someone may have the expertise but not the time, there could be an important goal looming and there is not enough time to achieve it with current resources, there could be a poor use of time, or a need to do something quicker.

People buy emotionally and justify rationally. There are a lot of emotions that cause pain, such as frustration, fear, worry, anxiety, guilt, regret. The financial justification will be important but the pain will be driving the emotional dynamics of the sale. Also remember that if there is more people involved in the sale, they may have different pains or feel the pain to a greater or lesser degree.

Become a pain hunter and you will find that the sales effort is reduced dramatically and your prospects will become very grateful you showed up!

Happy hunting!