In traditional seminars on selling we learn about mirroring. That's the basic strategy salespeople leverage. Essentially it involves identifying the norms of the organizational culture, quirks of the individuals, and what's the protective coloring. Then that's imitated, in an artful fashion. If the culture is conservative, then all body language, terminology, and pacing of the sales pitch are buttoned down. Those who can do the buying see themselves reflected back.
Most salespeople do that or try to. Great salespeople go to the next level. They probe for the pain points. Then they do what might be called "reverse mirroring."
For example, there may be conflict in the organization. Or simply inner turmoil going on in the individual. In response, great salespeople transmit an aura of calm. They lead up to discussing how conflict is a positive force when properly harnessed.
There are many ways to study pain. One I found especially useful is observing the behavior of those who attend 12-step programs. There's no need to be a substance abuser. Versions ranging from Emotions Anonymous to Families Anonymous are open to anyone. People gravitate toward those programs because of pain. There's a gold mine for the salesperson in studying the source of their pain, what has not worked in relieving it, and what seems like it can work. The contact information for those 12-step programs are listed on the web.
Zeroing in on pain points has also made me a better content-provider, after I get the assignment.