If there’s one thing that can stop a sale dead in its tracks, it’s an objection. There are always going to be reasons your potential customers hold back from purchasing from you, and you can be one step ahead if you figure out these possible objections beforehand and address them in your website FAQs. One way to do this is to find out your customer’s ‘pain points’.
What is a pain point?
A pain point is an emotional reaction or feeling towards a specific problem, issue, bug bear, irk, unfulfilled desire, annoyance, friction etc that your customer holds, whether they are aware of it or not.
Why is it important to know what your customers’ pain points are?
Once you know what your customers’ pain points are, you can use this information to create a solution to their problem and fulfil their need with the service or product you offer. This will ultimately lead to more conversions for you and a better journey for your customers.
On the other hand, lack of understanding could cause you to exacerbate any existing pain points your customers may have. This could drive potential customers elsewhere.
There may well be several different pain points across your customer base and so to ascertain and address them could take considerable time and thought, but it’s certainly a worthwhile opportunity to improve the relationship between you and your customers and enhance your business’s credibility and reputation.
Identifying and defining these pain points also means you can create solutions for your ‘ideal’ customers, your specific target audience, those you delight in working with!
How do we define pain points?
In order to think about this in any depth, we need to define what types of pain may ensue and to what extent they will each have an impact on decision making.
Physical pain is only one you need to consider if you are selling a product or service which requires physical participation. In this post, however, we will leave physical pain to one side and focus on the mental or emotional pain points your customers may have.
You can think of pain points and their impact on decision making as a scale where 1 is slightly uncomfortable, meaning there will likely be little to no impact, and 5 being entirely in need of an urgent solution where of course the impact will be at its greatest. The decision could either be to purchase from you (if you are resolving the issue) or to leave and go elsewhere (if you aren’t providing a solution).
If you can identify and prioritize these pain points, you will be well on your way to crafting an educated and relevant solution for your customer base. As mentioned before, pain points may differ from person to person, so it certainly won’t hurt to identify and resolve as many as possible.
So how do we identify the pain points?
If you know your target audience (more on this here) and you have a solid CRM that allows you to analyze your existing customer base in detail, you’ll be far better equipped to access the information you need.
Go on any forum or to any business conference and listen to what’s being said. People love nothing more than to complain about what they lack, whether that be time, money, resources etc. The question is, how ‘painful’ is it for them and will it drive them to action? The more painful, the more likely action will be taken.
A (non-exhaustive) list of common pain points which should be considered:
Time – What is the expectation or need of your customer? Do they need last-minute implementation on a regular basis? Could your business be more reactive to their needs? How long does your service take to implement? How long does your product take to set up?
Money – Does your target audience carry the funds to purchase with no friction? Is money an issue to their circumstances? Are you charging the right price for the service you offer? Have you checked out the competition?
Resources – Do they have the right resources in place? OR do you as a company have the necessary resources to work with them in the most efficient way?
Ethics – Do they share your ethics as a business? Have you communicated those ethics out to your target audience, so they know about it?
Sacrifice – Let’s look at this in two ways. What do they ‘feel like’ they may have to sacrifice to work with you- how can you address that head on to reassure them? Or we could look at this as what sacrifice they are currently dealing with that you can resolve.
You may be at liberty to make certain educated assumptions about your customer’s pain points based on what you already know about them, however, it is always best to do your homework.
If you are selling a product or service created to solve a particular problem, however, you have over-estimated how ‘painful’ that particular problem is, then your sales are going to be less inevitable than perhaps you’d anticipated. On the flip side, if you have done your research and you know that the issue you’re resolving causes considerable pain to the customer, the action from them will be much more likely.
Ask them why!
There could be a variety of reasons that the particular pain points you’ve identified have manifested. These could vary from customer to customer.
The more you know, the better equipped you are to offer sound solutions.
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