Have you ever asked yourself, what the hell is a customer pain point?

A while ago, I was talking with an editor friend of mine. She had attended a webinar on marketing, where the host was giving advice on how to market to pain points. She kept using the phrase pain point like it was a thing. I had a pretty good idea of what I thought it was. I very much dislike overly used jargony words, because when people use them — it doesn’t make for clear communication or clear thinking. So I jumped into the rabbit hole to see what I’d find.

I came across an article posted on INC.com. It was one of the first articles that I came across. This article talked more about how to find pain points than what it is. You can infer from the article that it’s a problem that the company (or person) you’re trying to sell has that you can solve. Okay, cool. The article suggested that you use an example company who had a problem similar to what you think that the company (read also person) has and then explain what the solution was.

When I was getting my MA in clinical psychology, we called this the hip-pocket patient. In a situation where the patient (or client if you prefer nomenclature) has a problem (eg., depression, addition, …) and you can see that they are hesitant to talk about you, you bring out your hip-pocket patient. You talk about the problem that they had, and how you were able to help them solve the problem. In this situation, the hesitancy is usually because of shame for having the problem. Bringing up the hip-pocket patient allows the therapist to help the patient feel like they aren’t weird for having the problem. I mean if someone had some horrible things happen to them in their life, it’s completely normal to get depressed about it, but you’d be surprised how many people feel weak or shameful about having a normal reaction. But that’s doesn’t address the what the hell is a pain point.

Back to the advice from the INC.com article on how to sell based on pain points. In the situation of a sales meeting, you don’t want to come in guns blazing and say, hey I have a great service or product for you that will solve your problem … when you don’t know what the client’s problem is. Nobody likes to have assumptions made about them. The idea is that you have to get the client or customer to tell you what their problem is — I surmised from the above mentioned article.

But. But. But. Here’s the caveat. You can’t just say, hey, tell me what your problem is. According to the (again) aforementioned article, your customers or clients aren’t going to want to do your work for you. You’ve got to work for it. So you bring out a previous customer that had a similar problem and tell the potential customer/client how you solved the similar problem. Yay. That’s a great sales technique. But it doesn’t really tell you what a damn pain point is other that saying, it’s a problem that someone has.

So is that really all there is to this overly used jargony word? Well, yeah, as it turns out. I came across this blog post on tempestamedia.com. In the first sentence of the blog post, they defined what a pain point is. It’s a problem that your potential client/customer has that you can solve.

End of rabbit hole dive report.

©Michelle Raab, PhD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

You may copy up to 50 words without permission, provided that you give attribution, link back to the original post, and do not change the meaning or message.

You can get started here on developing your marketing plan, or email me with any questions.

Book Production Budget
One of the last tips in my post, 10 Tips for Launching Your …
Do people use brands because their family does? Intergenerational Brand Loyalty
The other day I went to my living room to retrieve my …

Disclaimer: Any articles, templates, or information provided by Michelle Raab Marketing on the website are for reference only. While we strive to keep the information up to date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability, or availability with respect to the website or the information, articles, templates, or related graphics contained on the website. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk. 

Published by Michelle Raab

Branding&Marketing Strategist for the Quirky and Creative Entrepreneurs | Research Psychologist | Writer | Photographer | Dabbler in the Visual Arts

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Join the community.

Sign up for updates, tips, and offers.

You have successfully subscribed to our mail list.

Too many subscribe attempts for this email address.

*
Michelle Raab Marketing will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing.
I'm a ...
%d bloggers like this: