Have you heard of Nik Wallenda the famous high-wire artist? He is a seventh-generation member of the famous “Flying Wallendas,” who perform high-wire feats of excellence. Nik has tackled tight rope walks across gaps throughout the world, from the Grand Canyon to being high above Times Square to crossing a volcano in Nicaragua in 2020.

It’s amazing how he slowly and surefootedly crosses the gaps.

He doesn’t leap haphazardly. There is careful preparation, safety harnesses when possible, and a lot of prayer! And time after time he succeeds.

What Does It Mean to “Sell to the Gap”?

What on Earth does this have to do with selling? Well, there many people who talk about “selling to the gap” in a sales conversation.

The “gap” is where the value of your solution lies. It’s about how well you can close or minimize that gap between what your prospect has and what they need.

Closing the gap may sound simple enough in principle, but I often hear things like, “I asked all the good questions and laid out the solution and they wanted to think about it. Now I haven’t heard back.”

How Do You Fill the Gap and Make the Sale?

The problem isn’t in knowing the gap of facts, data, and place. Those pieces of information usually aren’t too hard to find that out. What’s more impactful is the gap that positions the most value.

That brings us to our other gap, the one that more than 50% of people in our workshops say they never thought of addressing: uncovering the Risks and Rewards of where the prospect is and where they want to be.

Uncovering the Real Compelling Motivators

What are the rewards or the benefits for your prospects in moving ahead with your product or service? What’s going to compel them to put money into this? To put effort into it? To make relationship changes? etc.

We find that about 90% of the people in our workshops haven’t addressed that gap of the Risks and Rewards for the prospect’s current situation.

Remember our biggest competitor is people doing nothing. That’s why you’ve got to investigate what they believe are the benefits of doing nothing as well as what they believe are the risks of doing nothing?

To uncover these deeper factors, we need to look for the gap in the totality of points that might affect their decision making. You can start by investigating the gaps in their Today and Tomorrow, and then after earning the right to do so, ask the questions about their Risk and Reward.

Examples of Risk and Reward Questions to Incorporate

Here are some examples of questions that we can incorporate into our deeper, more complete Investigation:

  1. What is the impact of you getting to that ____ (Tomorrow)?
  2. How will you feel?
  3. What is driving you to look for help?
  4. Who else cares about this as much as you? What does that do for you?
  5. What do you see as the downside to staying on your current course?
  6. What may get in the way as you begin to implement? How likely is that to derail the entire plan?
  7. What are you most looking forward to when this is addressed?
  8. How will tackling this improve your life?
  9. What will be the biggest benefit to each of you?
  10. How will you use the time and energy no longer spent on this?
  11. What makes you comfortable with the current situation?

Why Risk and Reward Questions Are So Powerful

What do you think the answers to those questions could do in your sales situation? How could they help your prospects? What difference could it make to your prospects to be able to verbalize and explore those Risks and Rewards?

Helping your prospects clarify the Risks and Rewards of their situation means you’re going to have a bigger gap to position, and not just your data, facts, and your process for how you’re going to work with them, but how you’re going to help them minimize their risks and maximize these rewards.

The Power of Going Deeper and Uncovering the Real Motivator

Getting to that true, deep why of the rewards is very powerful. Going back to Nik Wallenda, when he’s asked why he does those crazy, daring, life-threatening feats, he said, it’s not about the fame and fortune as many people might expect. Instead for him it’s a higher calling. He believes that his feats of aerial excellence will give him the world stage to call attention to his faith. That’s his compelling motivator.

Now it’s time to ask yourself what questions you use to find out your prospect’s true compelling motivators?