“Pain Point” is a phrase that’s been getting a lot of traction lately. When we talk of pain points, we are talking about a problem that needs a solution. The problem could be anything – from personal life and medical conditions to car trouble and college savings.
In sales, though, a pain point is specific to the customer. They have a problem and it needs to be fixed. Perhaps your product can help?
Selling a product based solely on price or even on features is a thing of the past. Willy Loman from Arthur Miller’s play Death of a Salesman is a prime example of the old-school salesman who either can’t or won’t adapt to current trends. Willy was committed to selling in the same way he’s always sold and winds up with a pay cut and, ultimately, a lost career.
The role of a good, consistent salesperson has moved away from a transactional client relationship and into the role of a consultant who is there to help identify problems and provide solutions.
But just saying, “Hey! Your specific case could really use XYZ product!” isn’t going to cut it. A consultative salesperson will connect their product with a client’s pain point on multiple levels, creating both rational and emotional reasons to buy the product.
Take this scenario for example.
Salesman Willy (who else?) has an appointment with a huge prospect named Mary. A sale Mary could make Willy’s entire career and set him up for future successes. Willy spends days researching reasons for Mary to buy: he’s armed with statistics, case studies, historical trends and illustrations of the future. There is no way on earth Mary is going to turn him down.
Plot twist: She does.
Mary is not interested in Willy’s product because he never connected it to a pain point. Willy never got to know Mary or her needs. He never asked what kinds of solutions she was looking for nor did he think about how he could make her life easier with his product. All Willy did was appeal to Mary’s rational side, ignoring the emotional responses that play an enormous role in buying habits.
When you’re meeting with a prospective client, don’t assume you know what is best for them. Lead them to the conclusion to use your product by creating a vision of a solved problem and introduce your product as just one element of the solution.
Tell us about a time when you helped a client solve a problem and created a winning situation for both of you.