Pain can be a very good experience for entrepreneurs. It’s aftermath allows time for an honest examination of the causes leading up to the event, and, provides insight to develop better practices. We as humans learn from a very early age to avoid pain, precisely because it’s uncomfortable and sometimes, unbearable. In the world of commerce, pain is surefire revenue stream. Just turn on a television and watch the commercials. It can be just as good a revenue stream for businesses, provided these entities learn what pain points their potential and current customers share. When you know what these are, you can offer a genuine solution and your customers will be grateful to pay for what you provide.
How to Identify Your Customers’ Pain Points
There are many causes for pain in a business. It could be being overwhelmed by too much, not having the proper tools in-place, a change in the industry or consumer trends, or, wrestling with cash poor positions. Regardless of what it is, it can be a very big negative. This is why you hear successful entrepreneurs speak about their “ah-ha” moment, when they explain how X situation was a real wake-up call. They realize it’s not only their experience, but thousands of fellow consumers or business owners. They recognize a problem and rather than solve it and move on, they take the opportunity to not only solve it, but also, turn it into a totally new business.
You want to focus not just on identifying what the pain is, but also figuring out when people feel it most pressingly. It’s almost always easier to sell a solution to a current, intense pain than to solve something less acute. If you’ve ever had to call a locksmith or a plumber in an emergency, you’ll understand this point almost intuitively. —Fast Company
You can take a quick look around your surroundings, no matter where you might be and fast identify things which are specifically designed to alleviate one or more pain points. The very device you’re reading from is just that: a technological answer to everyday pain points. You can do more with this device in a few minutes than you could do in several hours just a few decades ago. For businesses, it’s imperative to identify customer pain points to not only stay competitive but relevant. Here are some ways you can identify your customers’ pain points:
- Ask, then listen. As a business owner, you’re excited about the opportunity to sell your products and services; that’s a given in this equation. What isn’t included with this enthusiasm is empathy. The very reason you’re given audience is precisely because there is a need for what you offer. While that’s reassuring, it’s stark to realize you aren’t the only go-to source. Your competition is still a reality and are just as eager. So, ask your customer about their pain points and listen carefully.
- Watch their body language. Body language will tell the truth, even when a person is saying something altogether different. This is important because in some instances, customers won’t be forthcoming for various reasons. Pay close attention to his or her body language to understand what the true point of contention is and how deep it is.
- Be alert to a change of tone or pace. If you’re dealing with a well composed person who is able to match their body language with their explanation, listen for a change in tone or pace. These little telltale signs can help you pinpoint pain points.
- Invoke an awkward, uncomfortable pause. Should he or she seem to be holding back, your intuition is probably spot-on. However, you’ll have a difficult time to get to the root if it’s never exposed. After he or she stops speaking, before replying, just pause a good four to six seconds. That moment of silence ought to be enough to get him or her to elaborate and open up.
- Discuss how you can develop and integrate a solution. Once you believe a pain point to be identified, you can test the veracity of it simply by starting to discuss a workable solution. If it’s truly on-the-mark, you’ll get collaboration; however, if it misses, you’ll definitely know otherwise.
- Ask lots of “Power Questions” to draw out the real issue or pain. Spend less time speaking and more time asking questions such as “what about this issue really concerns you?”, then “I understand, when this issue occurs, how do you respond?”, and so on. If you want to become a master at asking power questions, purchase the book or audio through Amazon. The book title and authors are; “Power Questions” by Book by Andrew Sobel and Jerold Panas.
What Pain Points do you have in your business today?