Entrepreneurial Selling

Cause Pain to Complete Sales

Written by Jay Shapiro for Gaebler Ventures

One of the hardest things, when you are in business, is to get people to buy. They buy for a number of reasons. One of the biggest is do to with pain and the easing of it. So do your need to hurt your prospects to turn them into customers?

It sounds insane but sometimes in order to prompt a prospect to act you need to cause them pain.

Now we're not suggesting you adopt Marquis de Sade techniques but you need at least to make them feel uncomfortable. Then you offer the solution.

For example, if you're struggling to sell the concept of your online grocery shopping site then something needs to be done.

Let's see what you offer:

  • You're cheaper than the supermarkets
  • You offer just as many products
  • Shopping is easy online
  • You deliver to the customers' door

Excellent. So why aren't you swamped with orders?

Several reasons:

  • People are wary of shopping online because they worry about security.
  • People are wary about shopping online because they can't 'touch, feel, smell' products.
  • People are creatures of habit. If they've always shopped at the XYZ store, it's hard to lure them away from that.

You've tried fancy leaflets, even expensive advertising didn't work.

It's time to cause them pain:

You need to explain to your prospects that the way they shop now is costing them, on average, X amount more than if they shopped with you.

That trip abroad they can never afford – they could afford it if they shopped with you and saved money.

Real physical pain- Aching feet, tiredness from walking around the shopping mall/supermarket.

Get your prospects to consider all the hassle of:

  • Loading up the weekly groceries into the cart
  • Loading them on the store's conveyor
  • Loading them back on the cart
  • Loading them into the car
  • And then unloading everything once they get home.

Five hellish stages of shopping! People who shop with you eliminate the first four. All they have to do is receive the groceries at home and put them away. By reminding your prospects of the painful process of shopping you are putting yourself in an ideal situation to promote your business as a salve to that pain.

Remember, everyone feels an element of financial pain. Everyone. So when you drum it home that the supermarkets are charging over the top prices for customers to go through all the hassle described above you'll find prospects warm to the idea.

Getting around the fact that humans display habitual behaviors isn't easy, but it is easier if you understand the concept of causing pain and then providing the band-aid.

  • Suggest the problem they are having, and then offer to solve it.
  • Tell them how much money they are spending unnecessarily, and then show them how they can save.

If you feel bold enough, throw in a little guilt to add to the pain. For example, with a business of this type, you can appeal to environmentalists. Think:

You have one vehicle delivering groceries in the neighborhood. That's an awful lot less fuel usage than if everyone jumps in his/her own car to get to the store. Big impact. Saving the planet, saving money, saving hassle.

It sounds ruthless but the hurt and heal technique really works.

Jay Shapiro is a freelance writer based in the UK. Jay has a particular interest in the emotive aspects of the entrepreneur's character. "Alongside the nuts and bolts of business, the character of the person is often the ingredient responsible for success."

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