Put Salt in Their Oats

sell to a gap and jump to closing the deal

Drive Sales Performance Metrics by Selling to a Gap

I recently started working out again, so I decided to seek out a gym. As I weighed Lifetime Fitness vs. the local rec center, the options were overwhelming. So, I sat down with the GM of Lifetime Fitness and he said, “Can I ask you a few questions before I give you the tour?”

His questions revolved around four things:

  1. How often I work out.
  2. If I had any workout equipment at home.
  3. What I thought I should or could be doing more of. What’s the ideal situation? Meaning, how much I should be working out.
  4. What I was looking for.

“So, what’s been holding you back? Why hasn’t that been happening?” he asked. I said, “Quite frankly, time.” He nodded. “What else?” “Probably know-how,” I said. “That’s why I’m here.” “If you did have that access, what would be the perceived benefit?” he asked. “I’d be healthier.” Essentially what he did, what all good salespeople do—sell to a gap. He sold to my desired situation, rather than to my current situation. Lifetime Fitness was a vehicle to get from where I was to where I wanted to be. It wasn’t necessarily going to solve the problem, but it was the vehicle to get me there. Incidentally, both my son and I now have memberships. You can bring a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink. Yet you could put salt in the oats. That’s what great sales questions do….reveal a gap to make buyers thirsty.