Sales Qualification, U2, and Making the Prospect’s Pain Yours


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“Like a rhythm unbroken, like drums in the night … like sweet soul music, like sunlight … “

Anyone who knows me well can attest to my rabid fanhood of the band U2.

Not so rabid that I travel across the globe looking for rare European-only singles on vinyl, mind you—but a huge fan nonetheless. I own every studio album they’ve ever produced, three concert videos, worn out five different t-shirts, and have a CD I created myself that is nothing but five different versions of their song “Bad” (to say I like the song “Bad” by U2 is like saying Bostonians occasionally like to watch baseball).

So when I ran into this story on sales consulting firm Blaire Group’s Web site, I had to jump at the chance of incorporating the music of the Greatest Rock Band of All Time into a blog post about the sales industry.

“You’ve got to cry without weeping … talk without speaking … scream without raising your voice”

Aside from my feelings of insane jealousy that Blaire Group’s CEO Kraig Kleeman got to talk to Bono one-on-one for close to an hour, the thing that stands out in this remarkable story is an incredibly simple, yet powerful message: hit the prospect where it counts to them.

For years, Bono has unrelentingly pushed for debt relief aid and economic development for Africa. It’s not just a cause, it’s a mission for him, a calling.

And the power of Kraig’s “sales approach” was that he instinctively met Bono on his terms, in his language.

“You’re dangerous … Because you’re honest.”

If you still haven’t found what you’re looking for in terms of sales success, start by finding what really makes the prospect tick. The pain that drives them to create change.

Oh, and one final note: U2’s best album is far and away 1984’s “The Unforgettable Fire.” In case you were wondering.

For more information about U2’s charitable causes, visit:


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