Digging for Gold
You searched and searched, but there was none to be found.
There were two “we’re all good”s, three “we do really well with that”s, and one “we’re pretty happy with what we have.”
You almost gave up. You didn’t think you’d find any. You were just moments away from wrapping up your cold call and moving onto the next.
But as you knelt down to grab your cold calling pickaxe and sweep it into your pack, you noticed in your peripheral a distinct, familiar glimmer. A splendid glimmer.
“Sure, we have challenges with that, but so does everyone.”
Bingo. You just struck pain.
Now that you’ve struck pain, what are you to do? Do you stop mining and go home? Of course not. You grab your pickaxe as fast as you can, and you dig, dig, dig.
The moment you discover your prospect’s pain, your instinct may be to feverishly explain how you’d like to solve it. You’re excited about your solution and can’t wait to tell your prospect about all of its bells and whistles.
I urge you to wait.
Never reveal your solution at the first sign of pain. Think of your cold call like a magic trick: nearly the entirety of a magic trick focuses on building up excitement, dazzling the audience with your showmanship and setting the stage for your ultimate illusion. And then finally, at the snap of your fingers, you make your grand reveal, and the audience goes wild. A successful cold call embraces this magic trick mentality.
Instead of jumping to reveal your solution at the first sign of pain, here’s what you should do:
Once you find your prospect’s pain, ask targeted questions to understand and amplify that pain.
Your prospect just told you that she’s not as efficient as she’d like to be? Great. Ask your prospect how much time her inefficiency costs her. Ask her to give you an example of a time where she was particularly inefficient. Ask her what she’s tried in the past to become more efficient. Ask her why efficiency matters to her.
The benefits of digging for gold with questions like these are threefold. First, it offers you untapped insight into your prospect’s pain so you can highlight the aspects of your solution that are most relevant. Second, it asks your prospect to focus on her pain, establishing the pain’s importance and directing her focus toward it. Third, it gives your prospect the opportunity to admit her pain so you don’t have to try to convince her that she’s hurting.
Digging for gold positions you for an easy sell. After you’ve dug for gold, establishing next steps with your prospect is a piece of cake.
“Well, since you mentioned that becoming more efficient is an important concern of yours and because that’s exactly what our solution addresses, let’s put a few minutes on the calendar to discuss this in more detail if that’s okay. You don’t have any availability later today or tomorrow, do you?”
And just like that, your prospect is happily buzzing through the sales funnel.
Here’s a final thought for you to entertain if you would.
“Why is patience so important?” Best-selling author Paulo Coelho famously asked. “Because it makes us pay attention.”