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How Sales Is Like Curing an Addiction

May 3, 2017
Scott Leese

Scott Leese

Selling Skills
Do you know what the first step of curing an addiction is? Getting that person to admit they have a problem. How do you convince a prospect that your product is the best product to solve their very important problem? You guessed it. Getting them to admit they have a problem. It’s a rare situation (almost non-existent) where you pitch your product to someone and they immediately say yes on first contact. There’s a nurturing process your potential customer has to go through. Data shows that top salespeople listen to their prospects to gather information to sell to them intelligently, instead of talking features, benefits, or price right off the bat. You must help the prospect understand the following: 1) They have a problem. 2) This problem is important. 3) The problem needs to be solved ASAP 4) I can provide the solution to the problem.

Sir, you have a problem

Before you can even start the sales process, you have to get your prospect to admit they have a problem.  As I tell my clients and teammates, It is not good enough for me to tell the prospect they have a problem, because it does not sink in as effectively. How do you raise your prospect’s awareness to the problem?  By asking questions that lead to their own self-discovery. But this is only the first step. On the second step, we must establish why this problem is important to solve. They should actually care about fixing it. Once we have the first two hooks set, we need to establish that this is an urgent problem to solve. We want to help the prospect understand that this is not a paper cut but rather an open wound demanding immediate attention. Finally – only after we have established each of the prior steps – is it time to talk about what we do.I am then able to easily discuss how my solution is the best possible cure to solve their problem.

They should ask for the solution

It very closely models how one would treat addiction. You need an addict to admit they have a problem, understand that fixing this problem is important and that they need to do something about it right now before it is too late. Then, and only then, is somebody going to be open to treatment. You cannot just walk up to someone with addiction issues and loudly proclaim
“Hey, I found this killer rehab facility in Malibu called Passages, ready to go?”
You will not get far discussing the solution with somebody who isn’t ready to admit they even have a problem in the first place. Prospects must admit to their problem, see the value, and understand why it’s important to fix, feel the urgent need to fix ASAP, and then hear about your solution. Do not try to sell out of order or you will experience less success. I have had a ton of success with this process, and the analogy seems to really connect with team members, as well as prospects.

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