Super Agent

Harness This Powerful Force

According to a scientific study discussed in the most recent issue of Harvard Business Review, “dread—the anticipation of negative outcomes—is a powerful force.” How powerful? The study showed that 70% of subjects opted to receive a painful electric shock right away, rather than wait for a less painful shock in the near future. So, the feeling of anticipating pain was worse than the actual pain. And if the feeling of dread could be avoided, that’s the route that most chose to take.

What does this mean for you?

We often talk about tapping into employers’ emotions during the sales process, and finding points of pain or frustration is one of the best ways to do this—particularly when a prospect is unaware that they are facing a specific risk. If they are lead to self-discover problems and begin to anticipate negative outcomes, (just like the study participants that chose no-dread over dread) they are much more likely to decide to make a change.

Lets say an employer is being overcharged through the premium audit process, their experience mod is incorrect or mismanaged and its preventing them from bidding on jobs, or their workers’ comp claims costs are rising because their injured employees aren’t getting the right treatment by the right doctor at the right time. When they discover this during the sales process, and the negative outcomes are isolated in this way, the door opens for you to:

(1)    Ask: “how confident are you that these conditions will get better if you don’t address them?”

(2)    Paint a picture of a better future if they choose to engage with you

(3)    Ultimately, work toward gaining agreements on how to move forward

What points of pain do you lead with in order to move prospects to make a change? Share your stories with us in the comments.

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