In our modern era of information overload, consumers are only able to accept and absorb messages consistent with prior knowledge or experience. 'Positioning' therefore helps break through the message clutter by offering a simplified message consistent with what the consumer already believes. This is achieved by focusing on the perceptions of the consumer, rather than on the reality of the product. Identifying consumer’s pain points is critical to effective positioning.
The consumer’s perceptions are largely determined by existing pain points. Have you identified customer ‘pain-points’ for your products and services? People spend money on two things; to fight pain and to pursue pleasure. It’s likely that the worse the pain or the problem, the more chance you have of selling a solution. The better the solution you offer, the quicker the customer will pay. Generally there is more staying power in ‘pain-solving businesses’ than there is in ‘pleasure businesses’.
So, look for pain. Look for things or situations that people find uncomfortable, annoying or frustrating. Focus on a ‘cure’ and let this help you as a guide to develop a business that will ‘make the pain go away’. You should also focus on trying to assess when it is that people feel the pain most. It’s easier to sell a solution to a current, severe pain than to solve something less intense.
Questions to ask when testing whether or not your business is addressing a real customer pain:
- What pain does your company solve?
- Why should people care?
- Can you do this in a few words?
- Can you persuade people to purchase your product using an elevator pitch?
The Importance of Identifying Customer Pain Points
To put it very simply, pain points are ‘cries for help.’ Collecting a list of pain points helps you understand what your prospects truly desire. Referring to these same pain points in your promotion and advertising and in your one-to-one meetings with customers and prospective customers help them better relate to your offerings. It almost instantly builds rapport that leads to a higher trust factor.
Winners don’t always have the best product, the biggest name, or the deepest pocket, or even the most loyal customers. Many times the winner does the best job in understanding and meaningfully addressing customers’ pain points.
In sales and marketing circles you will hear a lot of advice about finding a prospective customer’s ‘pain point.’ A pain point is the when and the why, the reason customers choose you – the point at which they realize you offer the solution to their need – their “pain”.
The choice of the words “pain point” is clearly intentional: only something that is severe enough to be painful to your customer will cause them to act to relieve the pain. This pain doesn’t necessarily have to be in a negative sense; the pain can easily be that of the frustration of wanting a product or service to do even more than it does right now.
If you’ve established good communications with your customers, they’ll tell you their pain points.
Define the ‘Pain-Point’
It’s important to define the pain point that drives your business. Sometimes this can be obvious. A car supplies transportation, solving the pain of getting from A to B. However some pain points can be less obvious. Does anybody really need an extremely expensive car that carries only two people and goes three times faster than the law allows? No, but some people want that, and businesses that supply it do very well.
Take restaurants for example, some solve the problem of getting food cheaply and fast. Others provide a service for people to go out and celebrate an occasion with all the trappings. Out of the two which would you most likely find at an airport or train station? Not all restaurants have the same mission. Does the high-end restaurant solve a problem as much as it fills a need and supplies a want? Check out how Papa John identified and leveraged positioning based on pain point.
There are four questions you should seek to answer when identifying ‘pain-points’:
- What is the true source of pain?
- Who sees the most value in having that pain removed?
- Who will ultimately pay for a solution?
- Is there a substantive market that will benefit from your solution?
Define the pain point that drives your business. What customer problem, need, or want does your business address? This is a core concept you’ll need to establish within your mission statement. Who is better off because your business exists, and why are they better off?
Need some help defining your Pain Point's (or your competitors?) Give us a shout.
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