Pain vs. Pleasure

Memorial Day brought a new tradition into the Vazquez household. Some friends and I did the Crossfit workout known as “Murph” for the first time. Murph is a “hero WOD” named after the Navy Seal Team Six member Michael Murphy who made the ultimate sacrifice of his life for the rest of his team.

The workout is simple enough (on paper): 1 mile run, 100 pullups, 200 pushups, and 300 squats followed by a 1 mile run to finish it out. Apparently, Murphy executed this regimen every morning to get his day started.

As we did the workout, one of my friends and I continued to be pushed by one particular trainer who was teaching at the gym that day. What I noticed about her style of motivation was that it was focused on positive energy and encouragement as opposed to over-concern and negative pressure. Practically, this looked like her pushing us to reach further than we would have normally, and refusing to let us slow down or quit when we felt the urge to. Compared to other trainers who may have questioned our ability or asked if we needed a break; this woman was a shot in the arm and a refreshing voice of encouragement throughout the workout.


Upon completing the workout (and lounging in the official position of Crossfit for quite some time), I could not help thinking about the way small businesses approach sales. So many methodologies are tied to pointing out the “pain” that a prospective client is experiencing. While I understand the foundation and theory for thinking this way; I truly believe we need to continue to evolve our sales mentality to focus on opportunity and positive potential rather than pain.

Think about it, when you’re looking to make a purchase for your business, or are seeking new products to buy – how often are you considering the pain you are experiencing prior to making a purchase? Odds are, the least amount of time as possible. Instead, we want to think of the opportunity and the excitement a new purchase may provide. In fact, the experience most of us will associate with pain is the actual act of paying money for services we’re not convinced will provide value! 

Jeffrey Gitomer (sales guru extraordinaire) explains this theory in this post on his website. The fact is, small businesses (our team included) would much rather dream of the possibility of growth and success than discuss the shortcomings and failures they experience regularly. Additionally, EVERY sales person that walks through their front door is trying to execute a “Needs Analysis” to “uncover the pain points.”

Why not be different? Why not resist the urge to take the easy way out, and instead, brainstorm solutions that bring value, excitement, and positive energy to your client? That’s what they will ultimately appreciate and remember when facing a decision point. So, how will you implement pleasure selling? Have you done so already? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below!

In the meantime, I’m heading back to the gym. At least one trainer has figured out the positives of selling pleasure over pain.

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