Staff Leverage

Pain Threshold

Estimated time of reading: 5 mins.
What I’ll learn from this article: How to properly manage pain in your clients to incentive decisiveness and a desire to purchase in order to alleviate their suffering.

Pain Threshold | Staff Leverage Blog



We fear losing more than we desire to win

Pushing Pain to the Limit, Professionally

“The pain of the mind is worse than the pain of the body.”

Publilius Syrus

Let’s talk about pain.

Pain is a really unpleasant feeling. Is something we naturally try to prevent, our very subconscious is programmed to avoid situations that could lead to painful results.

In fact, our brain is so good at escaping potential pain that it would do so even at the expense of perceivable satisfaction; this is called loss aversion.

Studies have proven that, when confronted with a decision, people are more prone to choose the option with the lowest risk for pain instead of the one with the highest potential benefit.

We fear losing more than we desire to win

Here is where pain plays a major factor in sales conversion.

More often than now, you’ll find yourself stuck with a client. They won’t accept your product no matter how eloquently you explain its benefits, their tenacity is unwavering and a deal with them is locked.

This is the perfect chance to make use of pain.

If they are reluctant to buy your product despite the benefits they can obtain from it, then you need to appeal to what they stand to lose if they don’t buy your product.

“Regret of neglected opportunity is the worst hell that a living soul can inhabit.“ Rafael Sabatini

So the strategy here is to actually create inner conflict for the customer, make them feel distressed and in pain with their current situation and push that feeling as far as it’ll go within their pain tolerance threshold – mental tolerance that is.

The purpose of this is fostering a sense of urgency and a call for action, make your prospects realize how much they’re risking by idling around. But you must be careful not to go overboard, for your client might simply run away, unable to withstand that much undue punishment.

Pushing Pain to the Limit, Professionally

Let’s say you’re an insurance broker. You’re meeting with a man whose family is not insured yet he won’t pay for their coverage, just for his own. But you know he’s got the budget for it.

We’ll start playing the pain game with him. We’ll mix guilty thoughts with the straightforward benefits of your insurance.

“Is your family really safe?”, “Do you travel a lot?”, “It’s really common to have accidents on the road…”

We make a subtle but powerful effort to ease the idea of negative consequences into our client.

“Do you have kids?”, “Is there someone to keep them safe all the time?”, “You never know when disaster might come, so you'd better be prepared”, “We have coverage plans for them too.”

You need to really dig into the psyche of your customer and find out what makes them tick in order to pull those strings as hard as they’ll resist.

To put it otherwise, hit them where it hurts.

“I could have avoided this.”

This is the thought that people dread the most. Motivate your customers to do what’s best for them, hurt them a little to prevent them from actually experiencing the pain of regret – they may even be grateful that you did.

By John Mackenzie – Founder & CEO of Staff Leverage, NT Digital and JohnMac Digital

Do you want to be successful? We know how you can be. For more information on the previous topics and deeper insight into the intricacies of efficient business, see the following articles:


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Hello There, I’m John Mackenzie! CEO at Staff Leverage. An Australian visionary committed to change businesses all over the world.

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