Uncovering Pain Points & Next Steps: Part 2

BY Jessica Helinski
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Uncovering pain points can present reps with so many opportunities to win over prospects. But, it’s typically not done by asking a question or two. In my last blog post, I shared the expertise and insights from a HubSpot article written by Dan Tyre. He discussed the importance of pain points, and most importantly, how to learn about them. In this post, I’ll share more of his suggested questions for uncovering pain points, as well as what to do once they’ve been identified. 

Uncovering pain points: More questions to ask

What takes up most of your day?

You will never understand what is hurting the prospect, and why, if you don’t know how they spend their day. Also, by learning where they are losing time, you’re finding out where they’re losing money. This is where your product or service can come in. Uncovering this pain point is where you can show your value. “Salespeople hear over and over again that buyers care more about value than features, and this question reveals the concrete value your product could have to your prospects on a personal level,” Tyre explains. Pointing out where your prospect is losing money, and how you can fix that, really drives home the value you offer. 

What are your gripes? 

Yes, this may seem like a petty question, but it actually can work for you. A small complaint that may seem trivial on the surface could actually lead you to uncovering pain points that haven’t surfaced. Use your experience to dig a bit deeper after asking this initial question, and you just might find an issue that’s triggering a common gripe. 

Why are you losing deals?

This question can uncover pain points from a sales perspective. “Asking this question might uncover positioning pains, process pains, or productivity pains in one of a company's most important departments: the sales department,” Tyre writes. You can find out if it’s possible to position your product or service in a way that assists with the prospect acquiring more business. “…you can win over those bottom-​line-​focused decision makers,” he explains. 

Now what?

Now that you’ve incorporated Tyre’s questions into your sales process and you’ve uncovered pain points, it’s time to actually address these issues. This is where you present yourself as a problem-​solver rather than just a salesperson. He goes on to share three tips that can help you take these next steps. 

  • Use their language. When talking about pain, tap into how your prospect talks about it, which is a bit of a psychological technique. “Instead of trying to appear impressive by relying on jargon only your colleagues would understand, show your prospect you take them seriously by using their language and terminology,” he explains.
  • Find out who makes the decision. If you haven’t yet, do this as soon as possible. There’s no point wasting any more time with someone who can’t help make the final deal. Uncovering pain points is important, but so is speaking with the person who decides. “Ask your prospect whose budget a purchase would come out of and what teams would need to be involved in a buying decision,” Tyre suggests to get in front of who is in charge.
  • Identify additional stakeholders. Again, you’ve got to get in contact with people who can impact decisions. You’ve done the work and uncovered pain points. Now, it’s time to showcase your value and how you plan to solve them to everyone involved in purchasing. Tyre admits, though, that this is often easier said than done. He writes, “Prospects are sometimes worried they'll appear less authoritative if they tell you they're not the sole decision maker, so I like to use the following questions to avoid that impression: ‘Who besides yourself needs to be involved in this decision? Who else would want to know that we had this conversation?’” These two questions can kick-​start a conversation that will ultimately clue you in to who all you need to connect with. 

Uncovering pain points is no small feat. As you’ve read, it requires some thoughtful questioning and examination to work with the prospect to bring each one to light. But once you do, you can position yourself as the person who can soothe them all.