The average human brain weighs just over 3 pounds. For most people, that is between 1-2% of their body weight. Yet to fully engage the cerebral cortex (where lucid thinking takes place) involves using up to 20% of your calorie burning energy. Now you know why so many students get the munchies after cramming for finals.

As an automated energy saving mechanism, most of us rely heavily on our limbic brain, also referred to as the lizard or reptile brain. The limbic system is the portion of the brain that deals with three key functions: emotions, memories and arousal (AKA Stimulation). It influences the chemicals your body produces. Science tells us that our limbic brain actually makes up to 90% of initial decisions, and it has ZERO capacity for language. It’s a pure animal instinct portion of your brain.

If you make 90% of your decisions with your limbic brain, guess what? So do your prospects. That means that from when you are selling the appointment to when you are closing the sale, a huge portion of your prospect’s decision is NOT AFFECTED AT ALL by logic, facts, data or the rationale of potential gain, since all of those require language to process.

This is why you should always be selling into pain. Avoiding pain is quite possibly THE MOST PRIMAL animal instinct there is. Even elementally simple forms of life are wired to avoid pain. Pain, and the urge to avoid it triggers the most powerful forms of reaction including but not limited to adrenaline and other chemicals being released into the body.

  • What pains drive a potential client to seek out what you sell?
  • What loss (pain) is incurred from failing to embrace your solution?
  • What fears (pain) drive prospects to avoiding sales people?
  • What obstacles (pain) prevent prospects from making a yes/no decision?
  • What pain causes people to fear change?

These questions and others need to be addressed in your approach. You need to find pain and assist your prospects in being aware of it to drive the buying process. This isn’t a tactic or trick. It’s biological science at play in the most primal parts of your prospect’s subconscious.

Wondering why a competitor beat you in a head to head proposal? They likely found the pain, and you sold features and benefits.
Can’t get prospects to even meet with you? You are not locking on to the pain of their current status quo to give them sufficient reason to dedicate time to a meeting.

Prospect’s beating you up on price? They see more pain in parting with the money you are asking for then they see pain in the issue you solve.

Pain powerfully drives human action. Full stop.

I know, I know, I know. Your company spent time and money making you an expert on what you do. You’ve got data, facts, case studies, videos, Prezis, and mounds of other information to support your case. That’s great. People don’t really care. They care about themselves, their agenda, and most importantly about dealing with their pain and avoiding future pain.

If they think you MIGHT be able to make pain go away, they can always find time to meet and discuss your product.
If they think you ACTUALLY CAN make the pain go away, the budget always appears.

Saving money is not a pain solution. NOT wasting money is. Catch the difference? Phrasing it correctly actually changes the way your prospects see it and react to it

Be a pain centric sales person. Leverage your prospect’s lizard brain to get them to take action.