Skip to main content
Sandler Training | Chicago & Northbrook, IL

One of the center points of the Sandler Selling System is pain.

Pain is: What's the true motivator of people? How does it affect the person we're talking to on a personal and emotional basis?

Emotion creates change. Pain creates change. The hierarchy is there. If you’ve ever taken a psychology class, you saw this in one of your textbooks, which talked about the strongest of motivators in people.
What actually gets them to change something is moving away from pain, and then through the hierarchy of fear, pleasure and curiosity. Curiosity being the least motivating for someone to change and do something about.

Certainly, in selling this applies. But it also applies to people's personal lives.
People change their health, they change their relationships. They change a lot of things based on where they're at in the hierarchy. A lot of people, like with their health for example, never really make changes because they never get into pain. They're in ‘curiosity mode’ as to it being something they need to work on.

Pain is a motivator.

Now, pain is the strongest. Fear is, I'd say, a close cousin. Think about the insurance industry. Much of it is based on fear.

What happens if I'm not insured?

I have insurance, because I'm worried about something happening, even though certain kinds of insurance I buy I will probably never use. But just in case, it's the fear that drives me to be able to take action and write a check on a regular basis for this.

Here can be the challenge:

Traditional selling is about pleasure. It's about features and benefits. Here's the cool things we can do for you.

Someone comes to you as a prospect and says, "Hey, we could be doing better." How motivating is that? Versus, "No, we've got to fix this now."

And selling is all about getting people, through the questions you ask, to be able to get from a place where they're somewhat interested, and getting them to discover, "Wow, I've got some issues here I've got to take care of."

Think of a doctor. A really good doctor would get the test results from the annual physical, and when they review with the patient, instead of saying, "Here's your numbers. Hey, you should really lower your cholesterol," they talk to you about what the impact and consequences to you over time if you don't take care of this cholesterol or you don't lose weight?

People put off these early indicators, because they don't clearly see what the pain is, same thing with cigarette smoking for many people, right? They don't see the impact until way down the road, so what they do in the moment doesn't have a direct correlation. There might be a bit of a fear, but the pleasure of having the nicotine overrides it. Anyone I've known who stopped smoking, clearly got to a point where the fear and pain were so high, that they just decided to stop, however they decided to stop.

The psychology of this is solid. It's the emotional motivators, so when you're in your sales process, how can you change those questions? How can you develop third-party stories that walk people into the future and see what the true pain and impact is going to be if they don't take action?


If you would like to sign up for our weekly video tips, click here.

Share this article: