Selling with Pain

painIt is widely understood that some of the main barriers to selling are:

Lack of Sales Process
Lack of Necessary Skills
Lack of Ongoing Assessment
Lack of Focus
* Limiting Beliefs in Yourself

During a recent sales workshop with a leading TV salesman (Dexter Moscow, of the QVC shopping channel), I was introduced to a new method that has made me reassess my approach to sales. Dexter only has seconds to sell products so needs to get to the root of things quickly.

Having been previously told to sell with benefits rather than features, I have now been told to sell on ‘pain’. ‘Pain’, in this instance, is the issue or problem that you are resolving for the person you are trying to influence.

Taking this approach affects your whole sales activity. In a meeting situation to make them really think about the ‘pain’ you might take them on a journey so that they personally relate to a situation when the pain might arise, this means telling a story.

If your not in a meeting you might, like Dexter only have a few seconds. I am going to focus on how this knowledge has changed my ‘elevator’ or ’30 seconds’ pitch. This is when you only have a short time to get someone interested in what you are doing, for example if you get in an elevator with a key decision maker for 30 seconds what would you say? You can see how I have developed my pitch below.

Version one
“I work for Gateway Media, a digital media agency offering video, design and online services to leading companies in the UK. We have had great success in improving our client’s communication and marketing strategy.”

Notice how this is too focused on me and my business features and not on the benefits to the client.

Version two
“I help companies to communicate more effectively through the use of creative digital media solutions. We are currently working with some of the top names in construction, banking and the legal sector enabling them to enhance their messages through video, design and online.”

This makes more of an effort to specify the benefits to the client, taking the focus away from us and onto the client.

Version three
“I am currently working with business leaders who are having difficulty growing their business in the current economy. They are not being noticed in their markets and don’t have the time or skills to tackle the problem. I don’t suppose you are suffering these problems in your business?

In bold are the ‘pains’ (problems) that we have identified and are trying to solve. These can be focused on whoever you are speaking with if you know what their problems might be. This new take on an elevator pitch removes the service offering, features and benefits altogether.

The person I am speaking with does not know what services I am offering but if the problems resonate they will, in their response, give me the information I need to make an offer. If they do not have any of the ‘pain’ mentioned then you have saved time in finding this out up front.

Remember you are not trying to offer solutions at this stage, just finding out if these issues are relevant to them.

Your aim is to take the person from a place of pain to a place of pleasure.

Reproduced from

Young Social Entrepreneur – Simon Baker,

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