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On Dissatisfaction

People don’t change unless and until they are dissatisfied. Without dissatisfaction, there’s nothing to compel your prospective client to do something. There’s no reason for them to take action.

Your job in sales is to discover dissatisfaction or create it.

Find Dissatisfaction

If your prospective client is dissatisfied, the source of that dissatisfaction is the focus of your discovery work. What’s causing them pain? What needs to change? What’s broken? Your dream client’s dissatisfaction is where you’ll find the ability to develop a compelling solution.

If your dream client isn’t motivated to take action, it’s because they aren’t yet dissatisfied enough to do so.

Create Dissatisfaction

Much of the time you find that your dream clients aren’t dissatisfied. When this is true, you have to help them become dissatisfied. [Note: To some of you, that sounds too old school. You might believe it sounds like the hard sell. But it’s not old school at all. I promise.]

Many of your dream clients should be dissatisfied. They just don’t know it yet. You can help them become dissatisfied, or your competitors will. Your dream clients should be producing better results. There is a gap between the results they are producing now and some better future results they’re capable of producing. And better future results are always possible—if you’re resourceful enough to figure out how.

Stay with me here; I know this gets tough. What you sell is the ability to help your dream client close the gap and produce better results. But first you have to help your dream client understand that they should be dissatisfied, that there is a gap.

If you want your clients to be compelled to buy, then you have to either discover the source of their dissatisfaction or you have to create that dissatisfaction. Then you have to show them how to close the gap around that dissatisfaction.

You either find dissatisfaction or you create it. All opportunities are born in dissatisfaction.


What are the common sources of dissatisfaction that you discover?

How do you help close the gaps around that dissatisfaction?

How to you develop dissatisfaction when your client isn’t dissatisfied or doesn’t know they should be?

What is the dissatisfaction you are working on solving for the dream clients in your pipeline now?

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  • Ryan Biddulph

    By helping someone see contrast much more clearly, to where it becomes easy for them to see they need to take the next step, they take it. Good advice here Anthony.

    The issue is most people feel funny or uncomfortable pointing this out to individuals. They feel bad, or pushy, or whatever low energy emotion holding them back, feels to them, and they refuse to make this idea of contrast clear in the mind of the client.

    When you do make this clear, and show individuals why they need to change, and inspire them to see it, most people will take the step due to your nudge.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • S. Anthony Iannarino

      Thanks, Ryan. In my experience, this is where all of the action is. You can’t be afraid to identify the gap and talk about closing it.

  • Marc Zazeela

    Anthony – Many people don’t realize they are dissatisfied until they are shown a better way. Often, I have had people tell me they were completely satisfied only to discover that they have really accepted certain deficiencies as being the norm.

    Once pointed out,they begin to realize that they don’t have to accept the status quo and have the right, no obligation, go go find something better.


  • Krithika Chandrasekaran

    So, in some ways as what marketers would do, study the market and find the white space to stimulate latent demand. Good point on identifying the dissatisfaction to provide a better product or service.