The definition of gap selling revolves around the idea that a business transaction can only take place if there is a ‘gap’ to fill, and this gap represents the space between a potential customer’s current state and their future state. Gap selling is based on the assumption that, in order for there to be a sale, there must be a problem to solve. In order to sell a product or a service to someone, that person must be angry or worried about something, or must be in difficulty, and they must want to change their situation. The gap is what lies between the person’s current, unpleasant state and their future, pleasant state. It also represents the value that we, as sellers, are able to provide, as well as the money that the potential customer is willing to spend to bridge that gap. The larger the gap, the greater the need to find a solution to the problem, and the higher the value we place on the solution.
Based on these assumptions, it can be said that gap selling is based on change, because the potential client is not satisfied with the current state of things, and is willing to spend money to change the situation for the better. This is where we often come up against an obstacle, however, because people generally do not like change, and tend to favour the familiar over the unknown. Change involves feelings, which is why the sales process is such a complex subject, and actually falls into the realm of emotion. When we want to sell something to someone, we are asking them to make a change in their life, and this can sometimes overwhelm them, triggering emotional reactions and resistance. The job of a salesperson is to guide people on a journey, helping them feel comfortable enough to accept change, and making them realise that bridging the gap will allow them to resolve their problem, and feel fulfilled and happy.