No Pain, No Sale, Mr. President

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One of the amazing discoveries of researching and then applying the concepts of The I-Hate-Selling Book was the "power of pain" concept. This means not wasting time or resources pursuing people who don't have pain or enough of it.

Although it might seem like common sense, it is surely not.

I remember working with a Big Six (at the time) firm in Puerto Rico. Two of the islands biggest banks were merging and it looked like they would simply keep the auditors of the larger bank. Logical right? Not to the managing partner of my client.

He insisted on a full-blown effort to create the ultimate proposal/presentation that would convince these banks to walk away from both audit firms and take his firm - a total stranger to the inner workings of these banks. This would have really made the merger interesting, right?

$50,000 later, it was a total flop. Net result? A very disheartened, overworked staff that knew they were wasting their time.

Unique situation? Nah. Happens all the time. How many proposals has your firm worked on that in retrospect were a waste of time? Or ... how many sales processes were you involved in where nobody identified the real reasons someone wanted to make a move?

You need to find the pain and see if there is enough of it, before you begin to consider continuing the pursuit of the sale, the potential new hire, or the possible merger candidate. People buy for their reasons, not yours.

And that, Mr. President, is your dilemma. It is obvious that the majority of Americans do not have enough pain to want an entirely new government-run health system. Just those that want to nationalize 17% of the economy for political reasons, and those that are stuck in the 12 million or so (real numbers here, folks) who can't get insurance, pay for it, etc.

Net result? If this program is jammed through congress, the American people will never forget, as they suffer through crummy, life-threatening health care the rest of their lives. And who will get the blame?

Resentment is always the end result of the hard sell. If there isn't any or enough pain, walk away early in the sales cycle and save your energy and attitude.

By Allan Boress, CPA, CVA – author of The “I-Hate-Selling” Book”, available at


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