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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Sales Strategy: Pain is Usually There for a Reason

Pain is usually there for a reasonWe’ve all heard the motivational remark, “No pain, no gain.”  That would imply that a little pain is good for you.  That if you’re not feeling the hurt, you’re not improving. 

I’m not sure I completely agree with that mindset.

Several weeks ago, I was hiking up a pretty steep embankment in about 8 inches of snow.  I felt something click and twinge in my knee.  It wasn’t too severe—we’ve all tweaked a knee at one time or another—so I ignored it.  In fact, I decided I would “play through the pain” for several weeks… even hiking up two pretty fair sized mountains on a trip to Georgia during that period, and certainly navigating more than my share of airports.

Finally, my body forced me to the doctor’s office and an MRI.  As it turns out, there are two tears in my right meniscus, the shock-absorber in your knee where the lower leg and upper leg come together.  A quick orthoscopic procedure in a couple weeks—along with a couple trips to physical therapy—and I should be all healed up.  But I created undo trouble for myself by not listening to my body, and getting the dang thing looked at sooner.

Are you feeling any pain, in terms of your sales effort? 

A prospect that won’t grant the appointment?  A client that is beginning to throttle-back on their investment with you?  A customer that is less candid with their answers to your needs analysis questions?  A program you’ve sold that doesn’t seem to be getting the results you and your client had hoped for?  Ultimately, any of these issues can cost you commission… and that hurts.

Sales pain rarely happens without a reason.  And when it hits, you can either sit there and wish it would go away… or buck up and talk to someone who can help you figure out what’s wrong.  Your sales manager.  Your The Center for Sales Strategy consultant.  A trusted mentor who can help you look at the situation objectively, and give you a more accurate diagnosis… instead of just trying to “walk it off.”

And by the way… if you are client of The Center for Sales Strategy, you have a variety of tools that help you conduct your own self-check-up.  You can use Category Briefs and The Marketing Mind Blog to come up with prospecting ideas and Valid Business Reasons.  Use the Ideal Customer Profile to make sure you select the right prospects.  From the Needs Analysis Field Guide to help you harvest the client’s most important needs… to the Results Checklist that makes sure your solution will deliver ROI.

No pain, no gain?  That’s fine if you want to feel the burn during a cardio.  But when it comes to sales (or your knees, if you’re over 50), if there’s something hurting your progress, you should do whatever you can to find it and fix it.



Mike Anderson is VP of Consumer Insights and Communication at The Center for Sales Strategy.

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Topics: sales strategy sales performance Sales