Nov. 25, 2022

#66 - Sales Tip: You're Causing Discomfort

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As a sales professional, you’re helping your customer. You’re a trusted advisor, a consultant, and helping them make decisions. But you’re also introducing change. And that can be uncomfortable and unpleasant.  

In this short episode, Brendan and Bob talk about how to think about the process and ways to reduce that discomfort.


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Hey Bob, guess what? 

It's another edition of Let's Chat Sales 

Let's Chat Sales!


And I believe it's an hour earlier because the time changed this past weekend. 

Yes, that's right. 

And so we we're actually getting an extra episode in less time, that's good for us, for the listener.



Everything is about our listeners. 

It's all about delivering value for our listeners. 


I wasn't aware of that. 

Oh yeah, that's exactly what it is 

I will approach it differently then. 

Today we're talking about creating discomfort for your customer, right?

Basically by being in a sales role, you're creating the possibility of discomfort for the customer.

I don't think you're sort of creating the possibility. I think you are absolutely creating the possibility. 

Yeah. Yeah. 

You are in the sense that you're asking them to do something that one way or another, they have to do something different.


We're expecting them to do something different. 

Or you're just informing them of something that they may not be aware of because you might be the expert on that facet of their business 

And now you're saying to them, Hey, this thing is kind of off and now they have to deal with it.

Right. Right. 

Which can be very uncomfortable. 

Yeah. Yeah. 

Sometimes you don't wanna know that the thing that could cause you problems. 

You got enough problems. 

And now you've got the salesperson coming in saying, By the way, I know you have 18 things wrong, here's the 19th that's gonna go wrong. 


What you're doing is you're basically suggesting they've gotta do something different than they dotoday, right?

So that's creating discomfort, that's creating risk, that's creating work for them or for someone on their team. 

And as a general rule, people don't want to do more work than they have to. 


And they want to be able to keep doing what they're doing.

Hopefully, you know, and maybe this is unreasonable, but they're hoping that, 

Oh, I can keep doing the same things I'm doing, but just do them better and have a better outcome.

And of course, or 

This will go away.

Or it'll go away and that's unreasonable, right? 

You know that the idea that you're gonna do something different, you're gonna do the same thing and we're just keep doing it and then somehow it's gonna get better. 


That's what you're up against.



And I think when you say that's how we tend not to look at it that way and we should. 


I'll give you a comparison that might make it more clear. 

I had a check engine light come on on my vehicle the other day. 

Yeah, yeah.

And it was on for two days and I couldn't, I was driving a lot and I didn't have time to get checked out.


And suddenly I was worried. 

My cars got 200,000 miles on.

It's 17 years old. And I'm thinking, I'm going through the whole, now I gotta buy a car. 


I'm not prepared to buy a car for a variety of reasons. 

And that really put me in the tailspin for a day. 

Like, Oh, how am I gonna do this? 

Then the check engine light went off.


Don't know why. 

Maybe my prayers are answered, but now I still have that nagging feeling that something could be wrong. 


And I think that's what we do as people. 

We go in, we say, 

Hey, this thing, you could be better if you did this.

It might operationally you could do this thing and we've got this solution to your problem, and then you leave.

And they're still thinking about it. 

Yeah. Yeah. 

Or the salesperson is the check engine light in that scenario. 

Right. Right.

We're also coming an alarm that could or could not be a big deal. 


We're also selling an improvement. 

Ideally, I mean, you should be selling a better outcome.

But the thing about the better outcome is, there's effort, there's work to get there. 

Typically, you just can't flip a switch and get the better outcome. 

Otherwise, people would just do it. 


It's not simply like we're getting a simple upgrade. 

You hit a button and the new OS comes out overnight and you're done.


This is much more complicated than that. 

This is moving from Windows to iOS or moving from iOS to Windows. 

There's effort, there's risk and there's, Oh, I gotta learn new thing.

And so you're, when you're coming at that, you're basically introducing a new set of things that they have to deal with.

The point being is if you're gonna do that, you had better understand very well what the benefit is. 

And that benefit has to be significant enough that they're gonna take the steps, 

that they're gonna do the sorts of things that need to be done in order to get to that better outcome.

This is me talking again about the whole customer journey.. 



It's understanding the level of discomfort that you're actually introducing into the equation by saying, 

Hey, you ought do this different thing. 

And so if you understand that you're coming at them and saying, Hey, you've gotta do something different.

You've gotta do work.

As a salesperson, you have to recognize that's what you're asking of your client 

Hey, you're gonna have to do work. 


Maybe they don't have to do very much. 

Maybe mostly you do all the work and your team does all the work, and you come in with the product and you do all the training and you get 'em up to running and all that, 

And you do all the integration.

Maybe that's the case, but there's still some amount of work they have to do and 

And discomfort. 

Discomfort, right? 

Even if they're working a lot of work, there's a lot of discomfort that can come and risk and the idea that, Oh, I'm gonna do this new thing and it's not gonna go well. 

Whereas I know the devil that I'm dealing with right now.


That's the thing that you kind of wrestle with is like, that's almost like a mathematical equation. 

You're going at them and saying, Hey, there's two parts, pain. 

That we're gonna introduce to this, but you're gonna get six parts of pleasure or gain as a result down the road.

And can you see that that two parts pain is worth it? 


You almost have to think in those terms. 


I love that you made it so logical. 

It clicked for me when you went through that, and I've never thought about it quite that mathematically, but that's really exactly what you're doing.

I'd be curious. 

I'm gonna have to try that with one of the next people I talk to about sales and just say to 'em,

You know, look, I get that. 

For me it's coaching. 

I do a lot of coaching, so it's gonna be, Hey, I get that you're gonna have two parts of discomfort, 

But are you ready for the six or seven parts of comfort that would come from that?


Right, right. 

That may actually work. 

Well, it's like what exactly is it that you don't like about this situation that you're in now? 

And what is it that you don't like about the effort that's gonna take you to get to this new place? 

Let's say we can get you to the new place and you're much happier in that new place.

You know? 

Let's talk about the things that are in the way in that.

Can we alleviate some of those or can we quantify exactly how much they are and those sorts, 

If you can kind of go through that process with them, with the customer, you may be able to get them again.

This is the thing, you have to make them comfortable with the discomfort of the transition, you know? 


I think that's key. And also it's the elephant in the room. 

This, what we're talking about here often does not get discussed. 


And it's a big factor in the whole thing.

That's why I like your mathematical equation, just coming at it and saying, Hey, here's the reality. 


I realize what I'm bringing to you and I realize that you're not gonna feel good about it as you're going through it. 

But on the other side, there's great stuff coming. 


And some of it is not mathematical.

Some of it, it's like, Oh, your cost is X for this

And is this problem is costing you X and you know this here and here and here. 

Oh, and when you go to the new solution, whatever the better world is, the better outcome is, you're gonna get, three x this, two x this, the, whatever, those sorts of things.

You're gonna have those improvements, but, there's also that emotional, I gotta do this thing, 

There's, I gotta get other people involved. 

I gotta do this. 

And you know, if you're a large organization, you're selling to a large corporation, you know,

I've got too many things on my plate.

I'm not gonna tackle that. That's too much effort. 

And yeah, maybe there's a huge gain. 

And then it becomes one of those situations where you have to, you know, it may be you're running.

You're gonna run up against a brick wall if you got someone who's in a position where they just don't wanna,

They don't wanna rock the boat. 

You may not get there. 

In some cases, that's where you have to look for someone in the organization that's really looking to make a name for themselves.

They're not risk averse. 

They're looking to get promoted or they're looking to get a bonus, 

Or they're looking to establish themselves inside the company in some way, and they're much less risk averse.

They recognize that, Oh, hey, I need to do this in order to get to this point in my career 

Or in order to get to this position or what have you. 

And so in some cases you have to look for people that are willing to take those sorts of risks

That's kind of part of the qualification. So when you, when you have these conversations with someone, with people inside an account you may want to assess, 

How willing are they to go on this journey with you?

How willing are they to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. 


Look at you. 

Well, and think about, that's why it's really great if you can work with someone second time. 


Because they know they can survive that they've, they've been through that with you and they know what it's like.


So having that person on that team that says, I've worked with Brendan before.


He's gonna get us to the good side. 


And it's not as bad as you think can really be a key, Right?


And testimonial. 



That's the other part. 

It's basically saying, Hey, you're gonna be okay. 

Yeah, Yeah.

So I beat that up, huh? 

You gave me some things to think about in, in how I do my sales, believe it or not. 


Two parts pain, six parts pleasure. 



We should do this again, Bob, I think. 


I like it. 

All right.

I'm in. 

See you man. 

See ya.

That was another episode of Let's Chat Sales a quick one, of course. 

And I hope it was helpful. 

And if it was please like, and subscribe and more importantly, share it with your friends.

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