Ask These Questions to Uncover Pain Points

BY Jessica Helinski
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Sales reps know that ideal prospects have the money and authority to buy. But, there’s something else that actually trumps those two things. Think you can guess what it is? Pain points. “If your prospects don’t have business pain, they have no need,” Dan Tyre points out in a HubSpot post. “And without need, there’s no hope for a sale."

It’s up to you, the rep, to find these pain points. Knowing the right questions to ask is key to uncovering them, and Tyre shares eight questions to ask. Below is just one question:

What is your biggest inhibitor to growth?

This is a classic question and a necessary one. It gets straight to the heart of the matter: what is challenging his or her growth? Surprisingly, prospects often don't explore this question deeply enough. So, leading a deep discussion about this not only gives you vital insight, but also positions you as a credible expert. While, typically, the biggest obstacles involve their own customers, employees, product, etc., you can get a clearer, more detailed idea by following up with these questions:

  • "What’s your plan to tackle X pain?"
  • "When is your deadline to solve this problem?"
  • "Do you think it’ll be easy or hard to solve it?"
  • "Who in your company is working to fix this right now?"

You will walk away from the conversation with enough knowledge about their pain point(s) and allow you to spot how you can specifically help.

What keeps your boss up at night?

Likely, the prospect isn’t the head of the company. But the prospect can clue you in to what is making his or her boss anxious. This is important in this sales process because he or she can point out pains in areas that you might not know of otherwise. As Tyre points out, “A manager’s pain usually filters down to her direct reports.” The response to this question also clues you in to the prospect’s potential inexperience. If the prospect really doesn’t know (or even think about) the boss’s concerns, he or she might not have the experience or status to move a deal forward. 

If you can quickly uncover a business’s pain points, it will be easier to qualify and get to work on how your product or service can help. Any of Tyre’s eight questions can help you do that, and hopefully, the responses will be what you need to take the next step in the sales process.