If There Is No Gap

If there is no gap between your dream client’s present state and their ideal state, they are not dissatisfied. If they are not dissatisfied, it is certain that they are not going to be very compelled to dive right into a huge change initiative.

When no dissatisfaction is present, it is your job to create it.

The Don’t Know They Should Be Dissatisfied

Sometimes your dream client doesn’t know they should be dissatisfied. They have struggled to make things as good as they can, and they have lived for so long with the status quo, that they don’t recognize that a higher level of performance is available to them.

Asking questions about a dissatisfaction that doesn’t yet exist isn’t going to help you to create an opportunity for you or an improvement for your dream client. Instead, you have to create the dissatisfaction yourself.

You Have to Help Your Dream Client Discover the Gap

The difference between your dream client’s present results and what you could help them produce is a gap. To help bring that gap to the front of your dream client’s attention requires that you ask the questions that help your dream client to imagine a better future, better outcomes, and better results.

Questions like “What impact would it have on you and your department if you could improve that result by 14%,” or “If you could reduce this cost by 12% over the next two years, what would that mean for your profitability?” Questions like these are harder to ask, but they can help you to help your dream client imagine the possibility of a gap.

But sometimes, your dream client can be so entrenched in the status quo that there isn’t a lot of imagination to work with, so you have try more direct methods.

When Asking Questions Isn’t Enough

Sometimes asking questions isn’t enough. Sometimes you have to show them the results that are possible before they believe that a gap is even possible.

There are occasions when you need the presentation before the presentation, demonstrating how your capabilities produce better results and how your clients are benefiting from those results.

Unless and until your dream client knows that better results are possible, there isn’t any reason to change; they aren’t dissatisfied. Your nurturing efforts and your value creation when no dissatisfaction exists is to educate and inform your dream client that there is a gap, and that gap is costing them in the way of higher costs, lower revenue, and through those, lower profitability than they might have otherwise.

No dissatisfaction, no opportunity. If they can’t identify the gap, you have to help them find it.


Why is identifying your dream client’s dissatisfaction critical to creating and winning an opportunity?

What do you do to create or develop dissatisfaction when your dream client believes that none exists?

How do you help your dream client to see that there are improvements that are possible and how they would benefit from those improvements?

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  • solanahWP

    Anthony, I’ve always felt, on the subconscious level, that this is what salespeople are doing. But I have a slightly different perspective on all this. Marketers either advertise answers to the needs consumers already have or create those needs to fit the answers they (marketers) offer.

    The latter I find unsettling, because to me it’s akin to creating an artificial ideology with its own exaggerated values. An opinionated person would probably see through this, but not everyone will. And what we end up with is a world full of people chasing the dreams marketers have created for them.

    I know, one may give it a nice name and call it “thought leadership”. But is it really? When the intent is just to sell, there is no place for true thought leadership, I think. Perhaps if it’s something you truly believe in, than it would be a different story. What do you think?

    • http://www.thesalesblog.com S. Anthony Iannarino

      Aren’t our ideas the very most important things we can ever sell, Solanah? Aren’t they what really make a difference? 

      • solanahWP

        You are right, ideas are important, because they are the cause of all change. However, things may change for the better as well as for the worse.

        So, what I’m trying to say is that marketers should understand they’re oftentimes responsible for how the world is. And selling things just because you want to sell them, not because they make the world a better, more enjoyable place, is not right.

        I know, this may sound… idealistic. But I just wanted to point out this one potential danger that may arise if the approach you offer is misused. I have nothing against with the approach as such. My main idea is: it would be very nice if people actually believed in what they’re trying to sell.