Brand or Die!

A Small Business Survival Guide

Are you tapping into your customer's pain?

  • Posted: 9:33 AM
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  • Author: Mikal J. Caldwell

When I do sales training, one of the techniques I drill into the doe-eyed sales teams I see is that you can't sell until you find out what their pain is. By "pain" I mean, what is it about their current situation that bothers them the most. Once you find that out, it's just a simple matter of positioning your product as the solution to that problem. Now you're not a product, you're a solution.

This is even more important in tough economic times. One of the misconceptions about this "recession" (or slow down, or whatever...) is that people aren't spending money. That's not true. It's just that they're only spending money on necessities. That's a key distinction, because what's "necessary" depends on the person. So as a Ruthless Marketer, what you should do is get inside the head of your target market and figure out what their pain is. How can you position your product as a necessity for them?

Look at the car industry, for example. Where you used to hear commercials about horsepower and walnut interiors, now all the commercials talk about either safety or economy. Even the luxury brands are talking more about MPG than MPH.

Here's one for those that are worried about the Christmas shopping season. is announcing "Frustration-free Packaging." Have you ever gotten an item that seems to be the Gordian Knot of plastic packaging? You wonder if it was even designed to open in the first place! Well they're now shipping select items in easy to open packaging, eliminating the need for hacksaws and butcher knives at Christmastime.

Seems silly? But it taps into a common frustration and offers a solution. And you know what? They'll probably get more sales because of it. So take a hard look at your product or service and ask yourself what frustrations can I solve. You customers will thank you for buying from you and not the competition.

Go forth and be Ruthless...

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