The 4 P’s of Prospect Delay. Number 2: Pain


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If you don’t solve a pain point for your potential customers, you’re going to struggle to win business consistently. Identifying whether your product or service is a pain killer or more of a vitamin to your prospect should be done early on in your sales process and conversations.

If you have a toothache or back ache, do you want to wait a to go to the dentist or chiropractor? No! You want the pain fixed as soon as possible and you want the earliest available appointment. The same goes with your prospects. If their pain is real and burning, they will want to buy into your solution immediately. If however, their pain isn’t immediate, it will cause a prospect delay.


Firstly, ask yourself the questions:

  1. Can they do without what you offer?
  2. Can you help solve their pain point?
  3. How quickly can their pain be resolved by choosing me and my company?
  4. What will the pain look like when it stops?

If you don’t think you can help them, then be honest with them to save wasting their time and your own time. If however, you can help them then the next thing to do is to ask your prospect to rate their pain.

Ask your prospect to be honest with you and rate their pain on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being very painful and 1 being mildly painful. If their answer is 1, you may still be able to win the business but it is likely to take you longer as you will need to prove your value overtime. Nurture your prospects with automated emails that will prove your value, i.e. use testimonials and case studies, educate them on your service and then engage with them personally further down the line.

If the pain is a 5, there shouldn’t be a prospect delay and as long as you ask the right questions, you should be in with a good chance of winning the business. Questions like “if we can show you that this will solve your problem, can we move forward with a contract of business?

The key thing to do is to really get to the bottom of their issue and you can then move onto the next step which is to position your product effectively.

Really highlight how your product or service will solve your prospect’s pain points and how their situation will change if they decide to work with you.

If you do all of this and there is still a prospect delay, it might be that your prospect’s priorities have changed or there could be another reason, which I will be discussing in next week’s blog. However, try and put yourself in their shoes and think about the other challenges the might be facing in their role and day to day life and what their reasons could be for delaying.

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