As human beings we have a lot of “scripts” in our heads that were put there by other people. Of all the people who contribute scripts to your brain, it is very likely that your mom put most of them in. There are a couple that you really need to purge as an adult if you want to succeed in sales. In other words, your mom isn’t allowed to come to work with you!

“Don’t talk to strangers.” and “Don’t talk about painful things” are the two primary “Mom” scripts that I’m referring to.

Not talking to strangers is good advice for a kid, but really not appropriate advice to someone in the profession of calling people you don’t know to sell them stuff. That one is pretty obvious.

Not talking about painful things is less obvious, but even more important. I remember being a little kid on the way to a party at some neighbors house when my mom pulled me aside and mentioned that one of the adults we were going to see at this party had a large facial scar, and that it was rude to stare or comment on it. As soon as I saw it, I had questions. Did it hurt? How did he get it? Etc. Being the dutiful, respectful and always well behaved child that I was, I refrained from commenting on it. (Note to reader, you may be hearing some snickering if either of my parents are reading this right now).

That same mental script makes it exceedingly difficult from some sales people to bring up pain on sales calls. They avoid discussing likely common obstacles or roadblocks and instead spout out features and benefits hoping to win the sale that way.

The problem is that study after study shows that humans motivate to action for only one of two reasons. 1 – Avoiding pain2 – Seeking pleasure

Almost 70% of people’s decisions are made on avoiding pain. A modern day human being is basically a pain avoidance machine. Not only that, but when faced with a conflict between avoiding pain or seeking pleasure, people will defer to pain avoidance more than 90% of the time.

That means that if you avoid talking about the pain a prospect has, you are banking on only 30% of the main human motivator to act. Since acting usually involves change, and change is usually painful, you are also on the wrong side of any conflict between the pleasure (gain) your prospect may get from your product, and the pain of having to make a change. Not good. And all because your mom’s voice is in your head telling you not to comment about the scar on the man’s face.

I love my mom, but she’s not allowed in my head when I am at work. Helping prospects see and acknowledge pain is what gets them to want to sit down and talk, and then what gets them to want to find a solution. You HAVE to get comfortable talking about pain to tap into that force that drives the buying action.

Call your mom and tell her you love her. Do it often, but don’t allow her in your head when you are making sales calls