Part of the secret to successfully marketing your products and services is to work out what your target customers’ pain points are. Your prospect has a need to solve a particular problem (or problems). And understanding these is the secret to selling your solution. So how can you find out what they are and then profit from them?
How to Identify Pain Points
There are many ways that you can identify customer pain points. Here are a few that can provide you with a huge quantity of valuable information:
The simplest way to start is to ask your customers (or target customers) what their problems are. Sometimes it can be hard to know exactly what pains them. You may think you know, but often it is something completely different. And this is where asking them comes in. One of the simplest ways you can do this on your website or landing page is to set up a quick survey. Use an online survey tool like SurveyMonkey, and ask a few probing questions like: “What brought you here today?” and “What problem are you hoping to solve?” Landing pages should not usually contain any distractions (see here to find out what they should contain). But if someone is going to leave the page anyway, you might as well find out why they are not converting. You can also ask in your emails. Segment your list into the people who open your emails but do not convert, and ask them. Get straight to the point: What do they want that you are not providing? Find out and then you can address it.
Research Your Targets
Sometimes it’s better to do some investigative work. You need to know how your targets think, and to do that you can snoop on them where they are active online. There are many places to do this. Forums are a great option. Seek out the forums where your customers hang out, read their questions and comments, and make a note of the questions and issues that keep on coming up. Do the same with social media. Follow the conversation, look for the problems your targets face, and make a daily habit of it. Visit question and answer sites like Quora. You’ll get a good idea about the sorts of issues your prospects care about. Doing all this will also make you more familiar with the language your targets use to describe their pain points—and we’ll come to that later.
Talk to Them
If you can, get your target customers on the phone and talk to them. This is easier said than done, but the information you garner in a 20-minute call can be invaluable. Or meet in person if you can—is there a way you can converse with your targets at trade shows and industry events? Clearly, this is not always possible, and you certainly cannot talk with all of your target customers. But try to encourage some of them to talk to you because the information they provide can be invaluable. Talking to people can help them to open up in a way that is not possible in a survey. For example, if you already know about certain pain points, use these to find out new pain points that you might be missing. e.g. “Our customers come to us because they have this problem … is this the same for you?” This sort of question can lead them onto other points, and it can be very revealing.
Research Your Competitors
You know who your biggest competitors are, so check out their websites, read their blogs, and sign up to their email lists—and find out which pain points they are targeting. Are there any that you are missing out on? This can be a quick and easy way to find out.
How to Profit from Them
Now that you have worked out what your customers’ pain points are, you have to use them to present your solutions as the answer. Here are some of the best ways to do this:
Create Valuable Content Around Them
Creating valuable content is the best way to present your solution as the answer to customer pain points. The way the sales cycle works now, people will often enter the funnel by searching for information. If people have a problem, they’ll hit the search engines, social media, review sites, etc, to find the answers. By discussing the issues—and providing valuable advice—you can spread awareness about how your solutions provide the answers they need. You need to know which keywords they are using to build your content around these, and then you can create an SEO campaign that focuses specifically on their pain points.
Use the Language of Your Target Customers
During your research, you should have collected specific words and phrases that your target customers use to highlight their problems. Now it’s time to use them. When you create content and marketing copy, use the exact same language that your target customers use. By using that same language, you can connect with them on an emotional level and make them feel like you really get them.
Use Better Testimonials
Building on from the last point, you can use customer testimonials that really hit on customer pain points. Testimonials are an effective form of social proof, but you want to make sure you use them properly. Rather than using a bland testimonial that just says how great you are, use one that highlights a specific problem that you solved for your customer. You can encourage more of these testimonials by asking specific questions and using the answers to make up the testimonial.
Test Different Pain Points
You may have uncovered a number of pain points. This is great if you do, but which ones should you be focusing your efforts on? You may not know which is the one that is really going to get your customers to act, so test them. You can do this with your emails, landing pages, headlines, home page, PPC ads, Facebook ads—choose different pain points to make a focus, and then compare the results. Conversion optimization is all about constantly tweaking your message and improving your results, and this is a great way to use it. You’ll soon get an idea of which pain points are the most important, which problems strike a chord with your targets, and then you can use these to market your solutions accordingly.
Feel Their Pain … And Provide the Solution
Identifying customer pain points is essential, but have you spent the time to really find out what your customers’ pain points are? Is there a chance that you are mistaken in identifying their biggest concerns? Don’t assume that you already know what they are, and make the effort to find out. Your target customers may have bigger pain points than you have so far identified—and once you know what they are, they can provide you with new ways to profit.