Let’s first talk about why would you even consider to find your clients pain points…
Why should you do it in the first place?
If your prospect has a need, they will be looking at how you can meet that need. So they will engage in a conversation with you, they might read what you sent them, or talk to your team. In other words, they will test if you can meet their need.
However, if they have a problem, a pain point, that is a current issue (or could become one in the future), they will happily spend money to get rid of this problem.
They both sound good. But here’s the truth. If they have a need, they’ll spend time with you, but if they have a pain point they’ll spend money on you.
Prospects with just need will have “tire-kicker” syndrome. These are the wishy-washy prospects you don’t want as a client. You want someone with pain points that’s going to say “heck yes, I want this solved.”
Remember…people don’t buy themselves into something, they buy themselves out of something. They buy themselves out of their pain points. That’s why you need to look for prospects with pain points.
You might be thinking about a tagline that goes something like this…“We help businesses increase their bottom line.” Drop this. Sure it’s good, but that’s a need. If a business owner is already making sufficient profit, then they are not troubled and they won’t act.
A pain point would be insufficient profit, or unsustainable profits, or simply the fear of insufficient profit.
A pain point is a gap, a deficiency, an impediment…it’s something bad and business owners won’t spend money with you unless they believe that there’s something bad that’s going on (or might go on in their business at some point in time).
They might have Facebook ads setup that is inefficient and they are leaking money. It could be a broken sales funnel that is under-performing etc. These are pain points.
If they do not fundamentally believe their business is underperforming, they won’t take that step and spend money.
Until you can find out what problem they have that you can solve uncommonly well, then you’re just pandering to what they think they need, and you’re letting them self diagnose.
You don’t go to the doctor and say “Hello Mr. Doctor sir if you’d be so kind and inject me with 2 cc’s of that particular drug riiiight here just below my right knee.” That’s not how it works.
It’s the same in marketing and sales. It’s not what they think they need, but what the pain points are they are trying to solve.
When you have that info, and you convince them you have the best ability to solve their pain points, that’s when they become your client.
How do you find their pain points?
Finding out the pain points is similar to asking questions. You are just making conversation with them, finding out more about what they deal with on a daily basis, but keeping a specific goal of locating their pain points in mind.
The goal is to have your client and prospect see value in working with you, without you really having to tell them why.
You can set up a meeting with prepared questions that uncover a specific issue the customer deals with on a daily basis.
You help them see the pain. You help them see that you can solve the pain. It means you’re not really selling at all. At that point, you’re a consultant and a solutions provider, which is the best place to be when you’re trying to sell anything.
You are their business partner.
So let’s go over some question examples.
First of all, if you are talking to them face to face, make sure you have their attention and not, for example, in a lobby where a lot of people are passing by.
“What tasks take up the majority of your time every day?”
Straightforward and to the point. What is it on a daily basis that they have to deal with, which is an issue.
Perhaps they’ll give you 15 different options of things they deal with on a daily basis. Your job is to recognize which of those pain points you can solve with your services.
Next step is to dig down a little bit deeper.
“What issues have you had in the past with other service providers?”
You are currently in a meeting with a prospect looking to become their next service provider. You don’t want to duplicate the errors others have committed in the past.
You’re just being thorough and starting a new relationship on a positive note.
The next question you want to ask is what is the most common pain point you see in their marketplace, and the one you believe they are most likely to have.
“Did you have any issues with…<fill in the blank>?”
Even if they don’t have an issue with that particular thing, they might recall something related to that.
What this does is build you in their mind as someone who is already trying to solve something for them. They will start to perceive you as their problem solver right there in the meeting.
Let’s say you build websites for business owners. One of the things you can ask here can be regarding mobile responsiveness, or page load speed, for example.
Do they have a sales funnel? How is it converting, do they even know how to check conversion rates etc.
Put your superhero cape on and show your expertise through these questions.
They will basically start to sell what you’re offering to themselves with you just being there asking questions, and showing that you genuinely care for their business.
They will want you on their team.
Get to the core.
When they start opening up about their pain points, continue with follow up questions. “What else? Tell me more.”
This is a technique that allows you to effectively dig down to the core pain point someone is experiencing.
You can find out exactly what it is, and then position yourself off of that, so you’ll be well ahead of anyone else who might be competing for that client.
Let’s summarize the steps.
1. Focus your approach on finding the relevant pain points. Go for the sniper approach, and find one pain point that you can solve.
2. Show the client value by uncovering their needs, so find the pain point, uncover their needs and then start working towards a solution for those specific pain points.
3. Do not resell the same service. Everybody is already selling something to your prospects that is going to take care of their daily business.
You want to come in there and point out a pain point they were not aware they even have as a business.
To save you time, if you know somebody who is already working with your prospect, but is not in direct competition with you (meaning they are working on a different area of their business), simply ask them to find out that prospect’s pain points.
With this info in place before you even contact the client, the advantage you’ll have is going to be ridiculous.
So the questions you ask will not be your best guesses but rather will have the “OMG how did you know? Yes exactly” effect on your prospect. Easy breezy lemon squeezy!
Start implementing these methods and listen to your prospects, digging down deep into their pain points, so you can become better at serving your clients and building your business.