In this recent podcast clip Chris (Floodlight Consulting Group) talks about a common mistake sales reps make when they are trying to develop a new relationship with an insurance carrier, property manager, plumber, etc. Instead of trying to get your foot in the door with some donuts, pens or some promotional sell, focus on solving that “pain point”.

“People will do more to avoid pain than they will do to gain pleasure.” – Tony Robbins

I wanna lead people with this thought, or this word picture because I found it incredibly useful and it just kind of informs the way we sell. And this whole solution selling topic. About 12 years ago, a sales mentor of mine, he was a technology entrepreneur, multiple startups, all the things, but he was a sales entrepreneur and he was given a workshop and I was sitting in on it and he said, guys and gals, there are only ever three things that we sell.

There’s aspirin, pain reliever; there’s the vitamin – bigger, faster, stronger; and there’s vaccines, right? If bad stuff happens, it won’t be quite as bad if you buy this thing, right? Any of us, whether it’s product or service sales, that’s what we’re selling.

He kind of did this prolonged pregnant dramatic pause. He looked at everybody and he said, if you ever have the choice, always sell the pain reliever. Always sell the aspirin. And he went on to explain why and the why that I wanna offer people relative to commercial sales in our industry, because it’s such a hot, emergent topic. Everybody’s trying to figure out how to sell direct to commercial entities, senior living, hotels, schools, all the things.

The reason why that pain reliever piece is so important is that operational leaders, there’s an incredible amount of inertia that we have to overcome for them to change a vendor. We don’t think about this enough. Brandon and I in our own little small business here, like we have certain vendors we use and for somebody to take our attention to switch out a vendor that we’re not aware of a problem, you know, like, I can’t think of an example off the top of my head, but just think of all the vendors you have in place right now.

They’re working to some degree, unless there’s something top of mind that they’re failing. But there’s an incredible amount inertia because for me to go from what my day-to-day job tasking is and my business focus, what grows my business to then swap a vendor out, there has to be something to make that worth it.

Pain is that thing. Business leaders do not change vendors unless there is a significant effort, economic opportunity, which is rare. You have some kind of disruptor vendor who’s half the price of everybody else. Okay, whatever. But that doesn’t happen very often. It’s always the pain. It’s always the pain. And yet we still tend, as an industry, to approach our commercial prospects with a promotional sell.

“We’re the biggest”. “We’re the best.” “Don’t you wanna be with the biggest and the best?” And that chief engineer, that director of facilities, is like, “Hey, I don’t know what I got’s working pretty good. Too busy to deal with it.” it doesn’t even make my list. And so to overcome that inertia, it nearly always is a pain.

It’s a pain point. And if we can sell to the pain point, we actually have an opportunity then to win them over as a vendor. If we don’t, it’s all we’re depending on is luck and the general attractiveness of the sales rep with the message. And we don’t wanna build an industry and a company that way. Right?

We don’t want to build it on the charisma and appearance of our salespeople. If we can really get dialed in on building it, on solving a pain point for those commercial businesses. There is a never ending supply of opportunity. Especially in the verticals we are in, because let’s face it, construction, commercial services, restoration, not exactly known or customer experience delivery, right?

Watch the full podcast replay here:

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