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Identifying Customer Pain Points: The First Thing To Do

BY: Nguyen-Ngoan  |   Sept. 20, 2018
Market Research
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Identifying customer pain points is the first thing startups and small businesses need when determining what to include in their sales pitch. It’s all about finding out what’s the underlining pain and what is causing it.

Many startups and small businesses assume they know their customers’ pain points. However, this is just a feeling. Without researching common pain points further and surveying prospects, startups really don’t know what it is that’s causing their customers problems. An assumption always is a bad companion. Many startups struggle with trying to sell their products to a targeted market whose “pain” isn’t big enough to buy their products.

That’s the reason startups have a hard time to close the deal. They provided information, guidance and Q&As for free, but still, without knowing their customers’ pain points, they don’t get the deal.

There are five stages of pain an ideal client is going through. The lowest stage is where they feel a little uncomfortable to the highest stage where desperation sets in and the need for a product becomes a question of surviving. Only by identifying customer pain points, startups have the proof that they are the best solution on the market.

There are many different reasons why customers work with a specific startup, and not their competitors. 1. The startup understands the customer pain points much better than their competitors. 2. The customer trusts that the startup can help them solve their issue quickly and easily. 3. The startup speaks in terms the customer understands.

Below is the step-by-step plan we use at Sozial Monster to identify our ideal client’s pain points.

Step-By-Step Plan For Identifying Customer Pain Points

Step One: Ask Your Customer to Speak about Their Pain. Stop Talking and Really Listen.

  • Ask your client open-ended questions.
  • Ask your client about who are they, what do they do, and what solutions they provide.
  • Develop a real in-depth business discussion and start listening.
  • The longer you allow your client to talk, the more they will share, and you can tap into a deeper level of their pain.

Step Two: Find Out What Type of Pain Your Client is Experiencing and Question Why They Have This Pain.

Most customers experience the same pain. But the underlying cause of a customer’s pain points can be very different. This could be due to their current situation, their personality, mindset, or beliefs. If a customer complains about one of their pain points, you can show them ways and solutions to overcome them. They will at least be curious and will listen. It still doesn’t mean they will buy from you, but you are starting the process of building and nurturing the relationship.

Try and find out their personal pain points and what is causing them. Providing solutions will start the bonding process and help you build a successful relationship. Some of the more common personal pain points are:

  • they experience physical pain (they cannot sleep at night, feeling restless, very nervous, get angry easily)
  • they experience mental pain (overwhelmed, stressed out, burned out)
  • they experience emotional pain (feeling misunderstood, judged, not heard)
  • they experience spiritual pain (hate their business and their clients, want to give up)

Third Step: Ask what motivates them.

What gets them up in the morning and keeps them going throughout the day? Ask your client what motivates them.

  • What really motivates them to keep going?
  • Find out what their real, underlined needs are.
  • Compare this with the pain points they shared with you earlier.
  • Look at the bigger picture and see how this correlates to your own situation.

Step Four: Let your customer know that you had experienced a similar situation.

Share your personal experiences and challenges that are similar to what your customer is going through. They want to know that you understand what they are going through.

  • Give them examples on how you handle situations.
  • Don’t forget to make a point that others helped you to overcome these pain points and what it took to overcome them.
  • Providing real life stories shows you not only learned from the experience but succeeded in overcoming your pain points.

Step Five: What is the value in having their personal and/or business pain removed.

There is a lot negative energy in dealing with pain points. It takes away from their time, money, and motivation.

Removing a pain point from your customer’s personal or business life will not only bring you positive energy but also help you to fulfill your goals much faster and more effectively. It helps in building the relationship and brings you closer to closing the business deal.

Step Six: Start with the pain point that is the most disruptive and devastating.

Customers often have more than one pain point and they can be on different pain levels too. Letting one pain point grow unattended and they will start developing a second pain point, such as feeling burned out can lead to sleepless nights or worrying about money can lead to less enthusiasm about work. One pain point left unresolved will create another one.

How can you stop this cycle for your customer?

  • Help your customer identify their most disruptive/devastating pain point in their personal life and/or business.
  • Help them address their heavy pain point. This may lead them to share your helpful advice with others of your ability to be a trusted resource, thus getting you more leads and growing your business.

You can see how beneficial identifying and knowing your customer pain points can be for their personal life and/or their business, and for yours. Every pain point appears because there is a weakness in the business.

It brings new opportunities to make their personal life and/or business better, create a bigger impact, or make a difference.

Create a customized step-by-step plan to identify your customer’s pain points where you put your own secret sauce into the mix. Have fun on your journey. There is a lot of personal satisfaction in helping your customer succeed.

For more knowledge on how to identify customer pain paints check out the original blog post Step-by-Step Plan for Identifying Customer Pain Points on SozialMonster.com.

Learn more great business tips! Join the Free Revenue Tribe weekly newsletter published by the Sozial Monster Team. The Revenue Tribe is a community of executives from startups , small business, and Fortune 500 companies all learning and sharing their experiences. You’ll find expert practical advice on all areas that will increase your sales and profits.

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