Find the Bruise: Mastering Discomfort for Deeper Client Connections

Discomfort often signals an opportunity for growth and deeper understanding. At Topaz Sales Consulting, we champion a philosophy that values pushing beyond the surface to uncover underlying challenges—what one of our clients defines as “finding the bruise.” This approach elevates the sales process and transforms it into a consultative interaction that benefits both the salesperson and the client.

Understanding “Finding the Bruise”

The concept of “finding the bruise” revolves around identifying and understanding a prospect’s pain points. Much like probing a tender spot to assess the damage, engaging in sales discussions that touch on these sensitive areas can be uncomfortable. This discomfort, however, is not something to shy away from. It’s necessary so you can develop a solution that addresses the client’s needs. Without it, you don’t know what you need. Questions you may ask are, “What will you do now, or, How does it hurt?”

Why Embrace the Discomfort?

The instinct to retreat from a painful discussion is natural. Many might prefer to offer a quick fix or shift the conversation to a more comfortable territory. However, this instinct can lead you to miss out on understanding the core issues that your client faces. By staying in the discomfort—to keep pressing and asking probing questions—you gain invaluable insights often masked by surface-level interactions.

The Benefits of Digging Deeper

Building Trust: When you are willing to address challenging topics, clients recognize your commitment to understanding their problems, not just making a sale.

Tailored Solutions: A genuine understanding of the challenges at hand allows for developing solutions that are far more aligned with the client’s needs.

Competitive Edge: Many in sales opt for the path of least resistance. By mastering the art of uncovering pain (the client’s real problems), you differentiate yourself and your approach, offering a rare and valued depth of service.

Developing the Skill

Becoming comfortable with discomfort is not inherent; it is a skill that can be honed through practice and persistence. Here are a few strategies to enhance your ability to find the bruise:

  • Active Listening: Engage genuinely with what the client is saying, encouraging them to open up and share more about their issues.
  • Empathy: Show understanding and empathy, making it clear that your probing is aimed at better serving their needs.
  • Patience: Allow conversations to unfold naturally. Resist the urge to jump in with solutions before fully understanding the problem.
  • Follow-up Questions: Develop a set of questions that can help delve deeper into any initial points of pain expressed by the client.

Asking Questions Works for Any Problem

Example Problem:  I Hate Algebra

Questions to Probe Deeper:

  • How long has that been a problem?
  • What have you done to solve it?
  • How much has the problem cost you?
  • What happens if you do nothing?

Reflective Practice

After each client interaction, take a moment to reflect. Ask yourself, “Did I truly seek to understand the deeper challenges, or did I retreat at the first sign of discomfort?” Use these insights to refine your approach continuously.

At Topaz Sales Consulting, we believe that finding and addressing the bruise enhances our effectiveness as sales professionals and deepens our relationships with clients. While challenging to develop, this skill offers substantial rewards in the form of trust, loyalty, and successful outcomes. It is not just about how we sell but how we build lasting partnerships. So, the real question is not whether you can adopt this approach but what will happen if you don’t develop it.

Topaz is changing the way the world perceives, values, hires, and trains salespeople.

We transform not only how people sell, hire, and manage salespeople, but also how they build relationships with others.  Many of our clients tell us how they use the skills they have learned through our training and coaching to improve how they communicate with their family and friends, and the positive impact it has had on all their relationships.

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