The Power of Pain

The Power of Pain

 People are are motivated to move away from things that they don’t want and move toward things that they do want.  Usually in the service business our solution will move them away from something that is unpleasant.  David Sandler taught us to call this unpleasant something pain.  In this context, pain is emotional. When we run a service call, the customer is already experiencing pain.  The diagnosis determines the solution, the presentation presents the solution, and the money relieves the customer’s pain.  The conversion or closing rate on service calls when we sell a diagnostic to come out should be above 90% because the diagnostic is a very good qualifier.


In the above example there is no need to help the customer feel pain.  It’s already present.  Your primary task as a salesperson is to help the customer feel pain when there isn’t any.  The reason the residential replacement air-conditioning business is seasonal is because most of us have not learned how to help people discover that they will have pain in the future and that your solution will help them avoid that pain in the future.  I am talking about a future breakdown.  People are willing to be proactive and replace systems that are working.  It’s no different than me considering replacing my car.  My four year-old Nissan Murrano needs tires and I am considering trading the car.


Last week, Chris performed air conditioning maintenance on an eleven year-old system.  It was working fine, but had a problem starting properly when Chris performed the service.  He brought this to the homeowners’ attention and asked them a few well-formulated questions.  They agreed to set an appointment for Pat to come out in two days to look at options.  Two days later, they bought a new air conditioning system from Pat and it was 42 degrees that day.  All of this was to avoid any pain in the future.


If you’d like to learn more about how to help people discover that they have pain, I can help you learn that skill.

About the author, Roger Daviston

Roger Daviston is a personal growth consultant who gets measurable results. He facilitates and encourages individuals to change behavior and make different choices to achieve better outcomes.

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