Ka-boom! You've just had a brilliant idea for a new product. You rush to get all your ideas down on paper, shell out thousands to your web designer, and start building a new business that you're sure is going to change lives (not to mention make you a millionaire!)
Six months later no one's buying, and you end up disheartened, disillusioned, and broke.
What did you do wrong?
You failed to consider your prospects' pain points.
Keep reading to learn:
-Why you should never start a business without a problem in mind
-How to tell the difference between a problem and a pain point
-How to determine what's causing your customers pain
What's the problem?
Trying to sell a product without solving a problem is like opening a surf shop in the middle of the Himalayas. You might be selling the greatest surf boards on earth, but no amount of convincing is going to make the locals buy them.
Your customers have problems – lots of them – and as a business owner, it's your job to pinpoint those problems and offer ways to solve them.
In other words, your product or service should be created and developed with a specific problem in mind.
Ordinary problems vs. pain points
But not just any old problem will do.
For example, Mary needs to brush her teeth but she's out of toothpaste. This is a problem, but it's not particularly pressing, it's not terribly expensive, and Mary's not going to lose any sleep over it because she can always hop in the car, head to a drugstore, and pick up some Colgate.
The kind of problem you should pinpoint, then, is a problem that is causing your prospect emotional pain.
Robert hates going to work every day and longs to work for himself. He dreads waking up in the morning because he hates his boss. Each minute of the day is torturous. He would give anything, do anything, pay anything to quit his job and start his own business.
Help Robert solve his problem and you not only gain a customer – you gain a loyal fan who can not stop talking about you and your business, and who can not wait to refer you to his friends.
Pinpointing pain points
So how are you expected to find out what your customer's pain points are in the first place?
Talk to people
No, really. Talk to anyone and everyone you know who falls into your target market, and even those who do not.
What's bothering them most? What are they trying to change about their lives? What's causing them irritation, anxiety, depression, fear or rage?
Look for common denominators in their answers and incorporated them into your marketing.
Spy on the competition
-Check out the blog and / or forums of your top competitors.
-What are people discussing in the comments section of the website?
-What questions are they asking?
-How does your competition work to solve their problems?
Now take your research a step further and look for areas where your competition falls short.
For example, let's say your competition only offers customer support from 9am to 5pm during the week. You check out their blog and see a lot of comments complaining about this and asking for 24-hour support.
You can then incorporate 24-hour support into your brand, knowing beforehand that it's something your prospects need and want – you have solved a pain point and given them a concrete reason to make the switch to your company.
Use Social Networks
Social networks like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are prime places to research pain points. People love to share their ups and downs. Join groups using your personal profile and build relationships with your prospects.
Read the comments section of popular posts and collect concrete evidence of what's bugging people most.
Finally, do not be afraid to ask questions. If you're still unclear about your prospect's most pressing pain points, ask! Create a survey, send out an email blast, or post questions to social media.
Whatever you do, do not build a brand based on a great idea alone. In order to be monetarily successful, that great idea must also be a solution to a great problem.