Do you know your customers’ pain points? Those areas where, as customers try to get their work done or ship their products and services, they run into road blocks? Marrying your products and services with your clients’ pain points positions your company to get more of their business.
You may offer one of the greatest things on the market today, but unless your customers see a need for it, or believe that they have a problem you can solve, your sales and marketing efforts will fall flat. How do you make sure there’s a match between what you offer and what your customers need?
First, you need to find out what your customers’ day-to-day struggles are. Some pain points are universal: IT, taxes, accounts receivable. Others may be more specific, such as improving a complex manufacturing process or finding sustainable suppliers. It’s vital to meet customers where they are, then listen. This can be done either in person or online, but your approach should be similar no matter the venue. It’s essential that your focus be on your customer, not on your business.
That seems like a no-brainer, right? But how many sales meetings have you attended where the seller rattled on and on about his own products or services, without once asking the customer what she needs help with most? When you look at the average business Web site, is the content focused on solving customers’ problems, or simply a list of the company’s accomplishments? While any business must share what they offer, and it’s good to display successes, small enterprises in particular struggle to strike a balance between tooting their own horn and communicating solutions to clients’ problems.
Here are some tips to help you learn your customers’ pain points, and help ensure that they know you can solve their problems:
- When talking with a prospect, whether it’s at a networking event or in a sales consultation, ask questions, then listen. Entrepreneur and venture capitalist Mark Suster recommends giving a short explanation of what your company offers, followed by a few examples of companies you’ve worked with. Then tease out the client’s pain points with what Suster calls “What We Find,” or WWF, offering details of how your company has solved problems for similar clients. This creates a connection between what you do and what the client may need. Then, when she begins sharing her business’s challenges, listen. Don’t interrupt with your own stories. This is about her, not you.
- Online, you can discover your customers’ pain points in several ways. Nearly every industry has member associations and publications. Letters to the editor and forums are rich soil to find out what challenges potential customers regularly face. Many organizations also have groups on social media. Consider chiming in when you feel like you have useful insight to share (but avoid a sales pitch at this point; it’s off-putting).
- Build your tribe – and ask your customers directly what they need. By having a company Facebook page or including a blog on your Web site, you can interact with customers and find out what their most current struggles are. It’s a great opportunity to help your customers understand how you can make their lives easier.
Are you trying get to know your customers’ pain points, but unsure where to start? SweetWater Marketing can help. Let’s start the conversation today. Call us at (256) 617-2092, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.