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Have you ever seen a problem that your prospect didn’t notice or were unaware they had? Did you jump in to with a great solution to the problem and lost the sale? It’s probably happened to the best of us.

So, what does that have to do with seagulls?

Let me tell you the story about a little girl who loved art to give you a better understanding. We will call her Sally. Sally loved art, and her art teacher asked each child in her class to paint a picture of the beach. So, Sally did just that, she went home, got out her art supplies and was so excited to paint and create her picture of the beach.

Sally painted the picture that she remembered from her first visit with her mom and dad. As she painted the picture, she remembered more details of the family trip. When her painting was complete, she couldn’t wait to take it back to the class. The children handed their pictures in for a grade before they could display them. When Sally got her picture back, she was sad to find that the teacher had painted seagulls in her picture to provide it more balance.

Now that you have some insight to the “seagulls,” do you recall times that you may have painted them into your prospects picture?

How do we avoid doing this? Here are a few tips.

Discovery- As sales professionals it is our job to help our prospect DISCOVER the “seagulls”

Questions- We should be asking questions that draw attention to the “seagulls”
I don’t suppose talking about “seagulls” would be of any value, would it?
You didn’t mention “seagulls,” is that important?

Keeping the prospect OK- it is important in discovery to help the prospect feel safe being vulnerable. This will create a positive response as oppose to a negative, guarded response.

Going back to Sally and her painting: if the teacher would have asked her about seagulls and the balance of her art, the response from Sally would have been more inviting and open to additions in her artwork. Just painting in the seagulls left Sally with a negative feeling about the project and the teacher. This is never where we want to be as sales professionals.

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