You Can't Make Something
Before You Know What's Wrong
"Human beings are forever changing. Customers are perpetual consumers in their quest for solutions to their problems, which is the equivalent of saying that people never cease trying to resolve their emotional problems," says Jim Beech.
The greatest untapped resource to build productive relationships with your customers is your intimate understanding of their problems. Customers ultimately want to be heard, validated and understood, assuming they trust you and the value your insight. Nothing accomplishes that more effectively than the problem evaluation process.
As you enhance your expertise in understanding your customer's problems you'll find that most of their issues are predictable, universal and interchangeable. This simplifies the sales process tremendously. You no longer waste your time fruitlessly expounding on all the things you can do to help them, and instead you focus solely on the emotional motivators that spur customers to change or buy. Spend your time describing their problems, instead of describing the positive outcomes they'll achieve. The former is more believable than the latter.
When you bring perspective to your customer by isolating and defining their problems that are driving their goal to change, you give them peace of mind, psychological safety, security and a sense of control.
The vast majority of all decisions to buy are driven by the emotion to avoid fear, loss, risk, failure and lack, versus the emotions of gain, advantage, opportunity and success. Simply put, problems are the single strongest emotion customers experience. Once you understand their problems, you understand them. In order for customers to grasp their issues, you first have to allow them to come to terms and go back into the past to the time of their problem before they will feel comfortable allowing you to deal with their future solution.
Customers look at the present and the future through the eyes of the emotional past. Regardless of what they say and think it's always about the past. All goals, desires, needs and wants are goals of retribution for some negative occurrence in the past. The goal of of betterment, the desire for gain and the need to improve is a function of the perception of scarcity and scarcity represents fear and problems.
Customers are no different in their behavior when they're in a corporate role or in a personal role. If they're going to obsess or worry it will be about avoiding something and protecting what they've got. Few spend as much energy and time on the emotion of opportunity and gain. Therefore all the money in sales is in the "worry." Customers will prioritize the elimination of suffering before they will attend to the advancement of pleasure.
"Many people have trouble visualizing a future goal and don't possess the discipline to stay on course. They have no trouble, however, visualizing the past and know for a fact they do not want to go backwards," says Mitch Anthony. The past has been experienced and therefore is tangible and more accessible to most customers. The customer's ego wants to get rid of the feeling and the emotion of lack more than it wants to achieve the desired goal.
"Just as nature abhors a vacuum, so do human beings detest feelings of emotional discomfort. The entirety of human life might be described as the ongoing effort, if not struggle, to resolve all such feelings; fear, anger, frustration and the like," says David Mutchler.
The stated goal of customers might be 100% pure opportunity and gain, but it will be the fear of not achieving that opportunity that will ultimately drive the decision to act or not. "Success and failure are so alike. Success is a way to reconcile past failures," says Paul Ferrini. Likewise with gain and loss. Gain is simply a mechanism to reconcile past problems. All action is fear based.