Selling more with HOPE vs. Pain & Fear

In my experience you will sell far more with HOPE than with PAIN.

It’s not that pain is not addressed at all in a sales conversation – it’s important context for the conversation to know whether you can actually help this person.

But it’s not the focus – instead, creating a positive, tangible future with HOPE is the focus.

For example, there is a VERY popular sales script floating around that one of my most recent clients was the victim erm “recipient” of.

  • It starts with the question “what motivated you to book this call with me.”
  • There is nothing wrong with this question – it’s a good question, I usually recommend a variation of it to start as well.
  • The follow up questions are where the strategy starts losing steam.
  • They zero in on the part where you had some unfortunate circumstance and that’s why you reached out.

For my recent client, it was him losing his business during COVID. 

Something he felt a sense of shame and heartbreak about and honestly the details of how it happened weren’t important to how this person could now help him moving forward.

However, the salesperson (who is a very well known sales expert) kept at it.

  • How did you lose it? How did it make you feel when you lost it? What were the circumstances? So sorry, but I’m still unclear about how it made you FEEL to lose it?
  • Playing dumb by phrasing the question slighly differently 10 different times – apologies, can you help me understand how you FELT?
  • Like he didn’t know the guy obviously felt like shit about it.
  • Because the strategy behind this script is to get the OTHER person to admit how horrible they feel…and to REALLY have them live and marinate in it.
  • And if you get them to cry, you’ve “won.”
  • So that you seem like the only light at the end of the tunnel by the end of the conversation.

But for my client, it just irritated the hell out of him. 

Because what he was doing was so obvious – there was no intention to actually understand what’s going on or help. 

The intention was 100% to manipulate and sell them. 

So, it was clear he wasn’t going to get any real answers about how the guy could help him.

Especially since this particular strategy also tells you to be purposely vague about how you actually help (a topic for a different post).

But when asking questions, I wouldn’t even recommend asking the circumstances of HOW it was lost or how they felt unless they freely offered them up.

Because if they don’t mention it, it’s probably not really relevant to whether they’re a fit for you to help them moving forward. 

Instead, I would ask questions like: 

  • What kind of business was it?
  • How long did you have it?
  • Are there other businesses you’ve owned and what were they?
  • What were the reasons for moving on/closing these?

These questions give you information about their skill set, expertise and as a result, options moving forward you could help them with.

Other great questions would be: 

  • What’s your goal now/moving forward?
  • What’s your timeline for that?
  • How much time do you have available to make this work?
  • Where are you looking for help with the most?

These answers would let you know if their expectations are realistic and it’s something you can actually help them achieve.

And of course after each answer you would give them some answers about how you would work with them to achieve that (pitch weaving which I cover in another post).

The overall feeling here is let’s get clarity on what’s possible now and focus on the positive things we’ll create moving forward (hope vs. pain).

Hope is a very underrated motivator in sales.

Culture movements, political coups and all kinds of history making moments were fueled by hope alone.

It’s a powerful emotion.

And so much more fun to focus on for BOTH people in a sales conversation.

Selling with hope instead of pain is a huge part of my 6 Month Matchmaker Sales™ Mentorship.

I’m helping solopreneurs sell something that is $3k + to 2x-10x the number of people saying “yes” to their offers (most start seeing results within a few short weeks).

In the 6 month mentorship, we’ll design a custom-to-you sales framework that consistently converts 50-80% of your leads into sales without pain, pitching or pretending to be someone else.

  • In that framework, we’ll re-position the questions you ask so that they’re more about whether your prospects are a good fit and less about trying to uncover their pain as covered in this post.
  • You’ll also master how to “pitch weave” so your prospect never feels ‘sold’ and you never have an extended period of time in the conversation where you’re the only one talking (AKA “pitching”).
  • And I also show you how to help people overcome their own objections without ever getting defensive.
  • You’ll walk away with a custom plan for your sales calls that fits your personality, audience and service like a glove that you can hand off to anyone else and still get 5-8 out of 10 people saying “yes” to working with you – a result I guarantee (who does that?)!

If interested in my mentorship, please book a call and we can discuss the details to make sure it’s a fit for you 🙂

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