How To Identify A Prospect’s Pain Points

 identifying-your-customers-pain-points

To sell your product you need to know that your prospect needs it. If there is no need then your prospect has no reason to even listen to your sales pitch, never mind actually buy the product. So an important part of your sales strategy should be to find out your prospect’s pain points.

A pain point is a customer’s need. It’s a problem that they want solving, and you need to make sure that you’re the one to solve it. There are three main reasons a prospect will buy from you: They want to increase their revenue, reduce their expenditure, or improve their efficiency. It’s up to you to find out which one it is.

Knowing your prospect’s pain points will, first of all, make it easy for you to explain your product’s value to them. If you know that your product can solve their problem it will be easier to sell.

Second of all, knowing their pain points and empathising with them will make the prospect trust you and feel comfortable talking to you. If you can show that you understand their problem and that you’re on their side and able to help, they will be much more willing to listen to what you have to say.

So how do you find out these all-important pain points? Here are some tips on how to do just that:

Before You Talk to the Prospect

It’s important to have some work done before you reach for the phone. You can’t contact your prospect without any information and think they will have any time for you, so you need to make sure you’ve done some research beforehand. Finding out as much as you can about them and their company will answer a lot of basic questions so you’re not wasting their time asking them when you speak.

  • LinkedIn

Linked in is the best way to find out information about your prospect. You can get details on their current job and what they do there, which will be helpful to see how much influence they have in the decision making process. Looking at what they did in their past jobs is also useful as you can find out if they have made any kind of purchase decision like this before.

Seeing if you have any shared connections with the prospect is handy if you want to get a referral, and it’s a good topic of conversation when you do contact them.

It’s also a good idea to look at their recent activity and the kinds of content they share and comment on. This can give you an idea of their interests as well as current industry topics that are relevant to them.

  • Twitter

It’s worth looking at both the prospect’s personal Twitter page as well as the company’s own Twitter page as they will both give you valuable insight. You can see from the prospect’s personal page what their interests are and what kinds of things they share. It’s good to know these things so you have something to engage the prospect with when you speak to them.

The company’s Twitter page will be useful to see what kind of message they promote. You can tell how to present yourself by knowing how they present themselves to others. It’s also worth looking at the kinds of industry topics the company is interested in and sharing, as this might give you an insight into what kinds of things are happening in their industry that might impact their problems.

  • Google the Company

Looking into the company itself is an important part of your research. You should look at any recent announcements they have made (leadership changes, product releases, etc) to see what is happening in the company at the moment. If they have a blog it’s a good idea to read through that so you can see what kinds of topics are important to them at the moment.

If the information is available to you, you should also look at their financial reports. You can see how the company is performing and if they are currently having any problems that you could use to introduce your product.

  • Google their Competitors

Having information on their competitors is invaluable. Knowing what their competitors are doing may show you the state of mind that your prospects is in. If their competitor has recently made an announcement, that may impact on what your prospect’s plans are.

  • Look Into Your Own System

Check your CRM system to see if there has been any previous contact with the prospect or company by anyone else in your company. If so, how did it go? It’s also worth checking into if they have looked into your company at all. Perhaps they are already familiar with your product, so you won’t need to do as much of an introduction.

Talking to the Prospect

Once you have all your research done and your confident that you know enough about the prospect and their company, it’s time to contact the prospect. Use the information you gained from your research to build trust with the prospect and get them comfortable talking to you.

There are two things you need to do to make sure you figure out the pain point that you can sell to: ask questions, and listen to the answers.

You don’t want to ask just any questions. Stay away from questions with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer. Make sure you’re asking open ended questions that start with ‘what’, ‘when’, ‘where’, ‘why’ and ‘how’. You want to invite the customer to talk because the more they talk, the more you learn about what they need (that’s where the listening comes in) and how you can solve it.

Listening for certain signs will let you know which of the three pain points mentioned at the beginning the prospect has. If they’re looking to increase revenue they will talk about sales targets and the need for growth. If they want to reduce expenditure they’ll talk about cutting back and being worried about budgets. And if they want to improve efficiency, they’ll talk about how time and labour consuming certain aspects of their business are.

But you need to go deeper than just finding out which of these pain points applies to your prospect. Asking questions such as ‘what is your biggest goal right now?’ and ‘what’s stopping you from reaching it?’ will show you what the pain point is from the prospect’s point of view. But often there is more to the problem than the prospect sees and it’s up to you to find out what and show how your product can help.

Ask how well have they performed in the past compared to how they’re performing now, and how they want to perform in the future. How have their customers reacted to any changes in performance? This will show you how the prospect’s needs have changed and how this affects the goal you found out previously.

The more questions you can ask the more information you can get from the prospect and the more likely it is that you will find the pain point that your product can solve. Finding out your customer’s pain point will help you show the value your product can bring by solving the problem, and thereby making the sales process that much easier.

Rachel Casey


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