How Diagnosing Customer Pain Points Can Remedy Rejection

April 18, 2019    Comment off


Selling to a prospective customer who you suspect or even know isn’t going to buy your product is one of the most frustrating and costly elements of sales. Not only does a customer saying ‘no’ drain your businesses’ productivity and budget, but it also saps your employees’ morale.

However, understanding the prospect’s pain points will help you put the record straight. Business pain is a major, board-level problem that has the potential to affect a company’s bottom line and prevents their ability to grow as an organisation.

The four core business pain points are as follows:

  • Financial pain points: The business is spending too much money on their current provider, solution or product and needs to reduce its spend
  • Productivity pain points: The business’ current provider, solution or product is wasting them time and they need to be more efficient
  • Process pain points: The business wants to improve internal processes
  • Support pain points: The business isn’t getting the support it needs at key stages of its customer journey or sales process

Put simply, if a prospect doesn’t have business pain then they have no need and you’re wasting your time. The salesperson’s task is to pinpoint the pain as quickly as possible by asking the right questions.

A few of our favourite questions that will cut straight to the cause of a company’s issue are:

What is the biggest inhibitor to your business’ growth?

There’s no business in the world that doesn’t want to grow, so not being able to achieve that goal is clearly a major pain point. You’ll find that many businesses haven’t previously sat down and considered this so it will also enhance your credibility.

The answer to this question will inevitably revolve around revenue, customers, employee effectiveness, product quality or investment, which naturally lead into follow-up questions around how they plan to tackle the issue and how difficult it will be to solve. This will get the conversation flowing and allow you to dig into the company’s pain points.

What are your boss’ key objectives?

You’ll often be talking to someone that reports into the key decision-maker or budget holder so it’s a great idea to understand the targets your prospect is looking to hit. A manager’s pain usually filters down to those reporting into them and they may be under major pressure to hit targets, so empathising with this can put you in a strong position. Furthermore, if your contact doesn’t seem to be considering their manager’s objectives then it’s a quick sign that a deal isn’t going to get done and you can stop wasting your time.

What’s your biggest time burden?

This question shows that you’re thinking about your contact’s day-to-day needs and the personal benefit that your product could help them solve. Digging deeper, you could ask them about how much time the issue demands from their team and help you show the value your product could have in reducing this wasted time.

What’s the hot topic discussed by senior management?

This question will cut straight to the business’ biggest pain point. If a certain issue or problem is repeatedly on the tip of senior management’s tongues or always the first item on a meeting agenda then it’s logical to presume that this is what’s keeping the CEO up at night.

Why do you lose deals?

An obvious question, but an important one. If the company offers more features than a competitor but at a higher cost and loses out, then budget is their pain point. If they offer more features at a lower cost and still loses out, then it could be product quality or poor sales processes. It’s key to get the bottom of where things are going wrong and position your offering as the solution.

Start soothing their business pain

Once you’ve uncovered the prospect’s pain point it’s key to begin addressing it. You need to talk their language and use their terminology to show you fully understand their issue. You also need to find the budget holder as quickly as possible to get to the root of who holds the keys to solving their business pain. On a similar note, you need to identify the business’ key stakeholders and understand their priorities.

By understanding a business’ pain points you’re lowering the chances that you’ll have wasted conversations and increasing the likelihood of sales success.