I broke some fingers recently in a bike crash – unfortunately not too uncommon living in a cycling city! My recovery took a while, and my splints drew lots of sympathy from those around me. I still have a little ongoing pain but happily I’m back on my new bike now.
Understandably, pain can make you irritable, maybe a bit irrational. You may have to stop doing something you usually do, or push yourself outside a comfort zone by trying something new in an effort to alleviate it. As adults we don’t try new things half as often as children might; as change experts know, one of the most effective ways to get people (especially adults) to change is when the pain of trying the new thing seems less than the pain of sticking with the old.
My accident was a good reminder that pain is unique to each person, and at times it isn’t logical or something we openly talk about. The world of business and brands is no different. When it comes to our customer’s pains we need probing questions and techniques to uncover them just as we would in medical situations.
The good news is that, just like in those medical situations, buyers will be very motivated to relieve a known work ‘pain’: falling revenues, pressure from an investor or CEO, getting something done that they’ve struggled with, or even avoiding new pain from a threat that they’ve identified. So knowing their pain points, and showing how your offer solves it, will not only get their attention initially, but is a great route to closing a deal.
Great communications often goes straight to addressing a common pain point. If you look at an ad and wonder what on earth it’s about, chances are you’re simply not the target market. Perhaps it speaks to a pain you don’t identify with. But if the agency has done its job right, then the ad will grab the attention of those who do identify, and show them what to do next.
At KISS we use a range of proven tools to really get to the heart of your customers’ pains, and also (more positively) their ‘gains’ – what do they want, what are the desired outcomes or benefits they might be hoping for?