How to Identify Your Prospects’ Pain Points: A Guide for Sales Professionals

Every day, sales professionals from different businesses struggle to increase their customer base and build better relationships with customers. 

Whether you work for a multinational company, a small business, or a startup, the first step to building long-term relationships is understanding your prospects’ pain points.

In this post, you’ll get actionable tips to help you identify your prospects’ pain points. After all, selling becomes impossible if you are not helping your prospects to solve their problems.

Here are 5 effective tips to reveal your prospects’ pain points and provide them with the best solution:

Ask the right questions

Asking your audience about their pain point is one of the best ways to influence the sales process. 

Unfortunately, most salespeople rush into explaining the functionality of their products instead of asking the right questions to understand the problems their prospects are facing. 

If you already have an existing customer base, a great idea is to contact your most engaged clients and ask them about their biggest challenges, you can do this through a phone call or by sending an email survey. 

Another recommendation is to add a feedback button on your website and to ask questions on social media. 

Remember to ask open-ended questions to avoid getting stock answers. An open-ended question may be: “How was your experience with our product?” as opposed to “Were you satisfied with our product?”. 

When asking questions, listen closely to understand the genuine need of your prospects, build trust, and let them know you care.


Check community forums and blog comments

When salespeople think about blogging for business, most of them think that it’s just to boost awareness. But, besides improving your brand and product recognition, blogs can be extremely useful to identify your audience’s pain points. 

Through your blog’s comments section, you can engage with your audience to uncover their pain points.

Another great strategy is to research your competitors’ platforms and community forums to find out what your target audience is saying. Try first to pinpoint those forums in your niche, by doing a simple Google search, such as “sports equipment forum.” If you can’t find a niche forum, easily search for related topics on Quora. And if you have trouble finding suitable questions, you can simply start a new thread. 

Below you’ll find a field sales forum discussion as an example.

Source: community.badgermaps.com

Analyze customers’ feedback and online reviews

Top salespeople are constantly asking their customers for feedback and keeping an eye on their products’ online reviews. This enables them to stay on top of any emerging issue and adjust their selling strategy according to their customers’ pain points.

Online reviews are one of the most reliable sources because they come from people who have directly experienced your product or service. Pay close attention to negative reviews and try to find out what needs improvement and where you should be focusing your efforts.

For example, if you have an app, one place to get reviews and feedback is through the Google app store, as shown below. You can also search for reviews and feedback by looking up your product on Amazon. 

Source: play.google.com

Look at reviews of other products in your niche to discover what customers are saying about them. 

Pro tip: Listen to George Leith’s Outside Sales Talk podcast episode to discover the best ways to deal with negative online reviews.

Monitor social media 

Consumers these days are not just using social media to engage with brands, but also to complain about the products and services that didn’t live up to their expectations.

As you try to sell on social media, make sure you are addressing negative comments and taking quick action before matters snowball. 

One way to identify your audience’s pain points on social media is to join niche-related groups and follow industry influencers, so you can easily spot users’ comments and reviews. 

Research keywords

If you are a new brand with a relatively small audience, one way to collect data about your audience’s pain points is by carrying out keyword research.

With tools like Answer The Public or KWFinder, you can gather data about what your audience is saying about you and your competitors. Keep in mind that this method relies on data rather than real comments from your target audience.

While using these tools, look for common threads or results with a high search volume. The higher the search volume, the more your audience cares about that topic. 

The commonalities or higher search results on a topic show sign of a pain point that you can isolate to produce content or develop solutions that would benefit your customer. 

Conclusion

As a sales professional, finding your audience’s pain points is the most important step to providing the right solutions.

When you identify your prospects’ pain points and successfully address them, you show them that you care about their needs, and you build a solid foundation for your relationship.


Author Bio: Adela Belin is a content marketer and blogger. She is passionate about sharing stories with the hope to make a difference in people's lives and contribute to their personal and professional growth. Find her on Twitter and LinkedIn.  


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