Pain.  It's something that nobody wants to feel.  It is the one thing that people search high and low, looking for solutions to alleviate it.  Whether there is a solid solution or a slim, hopeful chance, it is human nature to eliminate the suffering.

What if I told you that your customer base was motivated by pain?  Strange thought, right?

Here's the thing... By focusing your marketing strategy around your customers' needs, you are essentially pinpointing their pains and delivering solutions that sell.

 

 

Find a place inside where there's joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.

- Joseph Campbell

 

 

So what are some examples of consumer pain points that your target market might be having?  Examples include:

    •    Time-Management Issues

    •    Social Stress

    •    Family Pressures

    •    Work Frustrations

    •    Relationship Woes

Consider what you are selling, whether a service or product, to your fans.  What issues are you trying to solve?

For example, you're visiting SMV because you are looking for tips, tricks, and advice on marketing your small business, right?

 

Identifying the Pain

So by this point in your journey, you should have already determined who your target market really is.

First, you've got to put on your customer's shoes.  Live a day-in-the-life of them.

This is obviously easier said than done, however there are ways to do this.  It is a MUST that you ask valuable questions that gives you the ability to see through your customers' eyes.

Need some specific questions to ask?  Here are some really great ones that I have used in the past that can really be effective in targeting the struggle that your consumer feels:

1.) What is the most important thing in your life?

Although this could be a very broad question to start off with, it gives you some perspective into what your target customer values on a day-to-day basis.  This could shed light on an activity, experience, or one of the pain points above.

Not only will this provide the topic of your discussion, it will also show your customer that you truly care about them.  9 times out of 10, they will be caught off guard with this one!

2.) Are there any struggles or pain with that (or insert thing of importance here)?

Here is where we are beginning the dig.  You're going to need to fasten the seatbelt, because this journey is real.

People love to have conversation about their woes.  Ever heard of the saying "If a customer has a problem, they will tell twice as many people as they will praise a good experience"?

Use this to your advantage.  Now, it goes without saying that you have to use caution and empathy here.  You've opened the gates to various paths, so be on your guard and do not offend.

3.) Tell me more.

You have now jumped, plunging into the unknown and really learning about the reason behind this pain.

You will be thoroughly surprised with what is going on in others' lives.  But more importantly, you are gaining the knowledge behind this pain that your customer is having.

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4.) What else?

This question is the golden one.  It gives the person permission to describe in detail other items that are driving this pain.

Not only is this drilling down to the reasoning behind the struggle, it is also providing specific examples of how you can solve these woes with your business.

5.) Always ask "Why?".

If there was a golden rule to interviewing, asking why would be it.  It is an essential question that will give a specific reason behind the pain that they're feeling.

This is also an essential question of learning.  Have you ever noticed how often kids ask "why"? They're trying to understand the details, and formulating a solution to the problem at hand.

I highly encourage you to check out this article for a real-life example on the 5-Why Method.

5.) Follow-up by asking "Tell me more." and "What else?" until they cannot think of anything else.

This will give you multiple facets to choose from.  It provides a list of different sub-categories that will be important in the overall success of your strategy.

More importantly, this provides the conversation time that is also earning the customer's trust.  There is nothing more important that listening.

6.) Repeat back the problems that were stated, and ask them to rank them in importance.

THIS IS GOLD!  I cannot tell you how this will change your strategy to the better.  You can hear what they feel is most crucial directly from your customer's mouth.

This also provides a list that you can compare with other "interviews" that you conduct, which you will use to reach the majority of your consumer base.

7.) If you had a magic wand to change one thing here, what would it be?

Bam! Ka-Pow!  Here is your answer laid out right in front of you, ready for you to attack immediately.

This information will tell you exactly what you need to focus on.  It will show you what is most important to the person you are speaking with, why they really value the situation, and how you can fix their pain.

 

It is a MUST that you ask valuable questions that gives you the ability to see through your customers' eyes.

 

So what have we uncovered thus far?

    1    The immediate issue of what is causing the pain.

    2    The overarching need to find a solution to this matter.

    3    Their desired outcome that could potentially solve their woes.

    4    The exact pain point that is creating the kink in their life.

Although this information is important to you as a business owner, it is even more important to the customer.

Why, you ask?

They have these problems because they've yet to find an easy solution to their pain themselves.

This is where your efforts as a caring and serving entrepreneur come in.  It's your responsibility to locate the pain points and ultimately deliver a product or service that eliminates the issue.

Take Action

So what now?  With every finding, you must hustle to take action.  Here, I am going to suggest next steps for you to integrate into your current marketing strategy.

    1    Communication with your target market is key.  Ask the questions above, and build trust with them.  Our ultimate goal as an entrepreneur is to find solutions to problems that our consumer base is having, and providing value to help them every day. Figure out the challenges that they face and how you can help them.

    2    Be intentional.  You cannot be broad with your plan.  Use SMART Planning Strategies to incorporate specific and realistic goals to solve these challenges your customers have.

    3    Execute fast.  A plan is just that unless you put the wheels into motion.  There is no reason why you should sit on the sidelines and wait.

    4    Report back to your customer.  Holy moly, your customer won't know what hit them when you show them that you actually cared, listened, and provided them with a solution to their pains.  Not only will you create a selling opportunity, but you will also begin creating your "tribe" of committed fans.

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