Archive for August, 2009

Pain point? Wiggle your finger.

We always want to demonstrate that we understand our customers’  needs and their frustrations.

But once you identify these so-called “pain points,” it’s often effective to “wiggle your finger” in that wound a bit. Then, once they’ve experienced that emotional turmoil, you can then position your own products and services as the ideal solution to that challenge.

The pain subsides … and the healing begins!

It’s a tactic I picked up from my clients at Toshiba, where the crack sales reps in the Medical Systems division are asked to sell hugely expensive CT and MRI systems. They make sure they don’t rush in too early with technical data and white papers. Instead, they ask about the log jams and delays their customers experience in their hospitals’ imaging and radiology departments. They probe further, asking what it’s like to work under that pressure.

They inquire about the delayed response of current service reps once the systems go down, and what their life is like during those troublesome times. They wonder aloud about the frustrations of working with outdated systems with little flexibility and poorly designed interfaces.

In short, they identify the key pain points, and then wiggle their fingers in it. Then, finally — and to the relief of the prospect — they position their systems specifically to address that pain.

While this may be a proven sales technique, it certainly can be adapted to presentations, websites and other marketing media. Just make sure to explore that gap between the identification of needs and the positioning of solutions.

Buying decisions, after all, are often primarily emotional. To be persuasive, we need to help our customer experience those emotions.


Robert Hyndman

can be reached at his Laguna Beach studio, 949.497.3179, or by using the form on the Contact Me page.
August 2009
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