Sales Technique: How to extract pain from a reluctant prospect

Sales Techniques

When you enter a retail store most sales associates will address you and ask, “May I help you?” The Pavlovian response is, “No I’m just looking”. We do this because we don’t want to be pressured or sold by the associate.

Same principle applies if you are in outside sales. When you ask the prospect if they are experiencing frustration, concern, etc. about what you sell, they are reluctant to open up and spill their guts because they know anything you tell a sales person can and will be used against them. Consequently, they most often will tell you everything is fine and they have no problems, which of course is not true.

Want to know how to get them to open up and cough it up?

Study the sales technique below and listen to the role play of how to extract “pain” from a reluctant prospect.

BTW – don’t make the mistake thinking that this sales technique will only work if you sell commercial insurance. The concept is valid, so put on your thinking cap and figure out how to apply this concept to your business.

Role Play: Sales Technique How to extract pain from a reluctant prospect

Steve:                  Let me ask you this. Again, I’m not sure I can help you, but if there is one thing that you would like to see done differently or better, as far as workers’ comp, what would that one thing be?

Kevin:                   I can’t think of anything at all.

Steve:                   Can’t think of anything at all? So, you’re totally satisfied with everything about your workers’ comp?

Kevin:                   100 percent satisfied.

Steve:                   No interest in saving money or lowering your premium?

Kevin:                   I think I’m already getting a good deal.

Steve:                   So, it’s as low as it can go?

Kevin:                   Low as it can go.

Steve:                   Mm-hmm (affirmative) Not interested in a second opinion to find out if you’re right? (probing for pain)

Kevin:                   I think it would just kinda be a waste of my time, because I don’t think you … this stuff will create a lot of savings here.

Steve:                   Okay, when was the last time you had somebody take a look over your existing agents shoulder to find out if he’s doing what he should be doing? (getting him to question his existing agent)

Kevin:                   Well, he just kinda does it, I’ll leave it up to him.

Steve:                   Okay, he’s your brother-in-law?

Kevin:                   Nope.

Steve:                   Okay, so even if you had a problem, you wouldn’t want to know about it. (takeaway)

Kevin:                   If I had a problem, I’d want to know about it, but I trust he’s going to take care of getting a second opinion.

Steve:                   Okay, I find that happens quite a bit. And then when people start looking …(pattern Interrupt) it kind of reminds me of a case I was on the other day, there was this agent for 15 years and when they finally got down to looking at it, they realized that for the last 15 years, they had put their trust in somebody and they had never even gotten a second opinion about what this guy was doing and they found out for the last 15 years, they’d been over-paying about 20% of their premium.

Kevin:                   Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Steve:                   And what I’m hearing from you, you would not even want to know if that were the case in your situation. (takeaway)

Kevin:                   Yeah, I’d want to know, but I don’t you know, well, show me what you what can you do?

Steve:                   I don’t know if I can do anything. (takeaway) I need to find out what you have first of all. Here’s what I could do. I can take a look at what you own. I can do a workers’ comp audit if you will to look at what you got. I’ll be straight with you, if you got something better than what I can do for you, I’ll tell you. If you got something that I can help you with, I’ll tell you that. You got to tell me whether or not you going to want that kind of process of me looking at that for you.

Kevin:                   I’d like you to give me some advice on what I’m doing wrong.

Steve:                   Okay, and I can’t tell you that right this minute, can I, ’cause I don’t have a clue what you’re even doing. Let me ask you this. Let’s suppose I went through that and things aren’t as rosy as you think they are and you found out that you did have some problems, would you want to fix them?

Kevin:                   Sure, I’d want to fix them.

Steve:                   Okay. How would you feel about your existing agent if you found out that he hadn’t been doing as good a job for you as he should’ve been? (driving a wedge)

Kevin:                   I’d have a talk with him about it.

Steve:                   Okay. Now I can look at your situation. 90% of the time when I look at what someone else has done, because most people selling comp are generalists in the property and casualty business, they sell life. You’ve got to probably sell something other than workers’ comp. He handles your other insurance too?

Kevin:                   He does.

Steve:                   Okay, so he’s a generalist. (driving a wedge)

Kevin                    Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Steve:                   We’re specialists. Got over 350 clients and all we do is workers’ comp.

Kevin:                   Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Steve:                   We do more workers’ comp than anybody in the panhandle of Florida. When we go in and look at somebody worker comp and analyze what they’re doing, 90% of the time we find mistakes made by their existing agent. (establishing our expert status)

Kevin:                   Uh huh.

Steve:                   Suppose we find some mistakes? How are you going to feel about firing that other agent if you find out he made mistakes? (taking them into the future to rehearse how they are going to fire their existing agent)

Kevin:                   Well you know, it’s going to depend on how severe it is, I guess.

Steve:                   I would agree. So probably not willing to fire him if there’s no mistakes or very little.

Kevin:                   Yeah, no mistakes, I wouldn’t fire him.

Steve:                   It wouldn’t make any sense to fire him.

Steve:                   Small mistakes, probably-

Kevin:                   Everybody makes small mistakes.

Steve:                   Yeah. And what would constitute enough for you to want to fire him?

Kevin:                   Cost me money.

Steve:                   How much money would you have to overpay in order to fire him?  (didn’t ask but should have)

Steve:                   Okay. I can take a look at that for you. Here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to look at it. If I find problems, I’ll tell you I found a problem.

Kevin:                   Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Steve:                   Now, here’s what I’m not going to do. I’m not going to tell you how to fix the problems, unless you become a client. I’ll tell you the problems if I’ve found them, and if I don’t find any, I’ll tell you that too. But what I won’t do is say “I’ve found a problem and then give you the solution to the problem,” so you can take it back and ask him to fix it. (explaining the rules of engagement so there is no misunderstanding)Sales Techniques

Kevin:                   Well, I don’t know if you know what you’re doing if you don’t tell me what the answer is.

Steve:                   You won’t know. You’re going to have to trust me. (making it about trust)

Kevin:                   Just met you.

Steve:                   How you feel about me so far? See? If you don’t trust me, then we don’t need to go any further in this process because my whole relationship with clients is built on trust. And I don’t want a client who doesn’t trust me. (making it about trust) So, if you’re one of those kind of people don’t trust anybody, we probably need to stop right now. (extremely strong takeaway – you must have a backbone of steel) So what do you want me to do, do you want me to take a look at what you’ve got?

Kevin:                   Mm-hmm (affirmative) sure.

Steve:                   Okay, I can do that.

To help you understand how to implement this powerful sales technique, I created a role play. Since this was not recorded in a studio the audio leaves a bit to be desired. That said, the content is awesome and I thought you would want to hear this anyway.

To listen to this unique sales technique role play click here.