Skip to content

You didn’t know you needed this

When we were talking about dreadful marketing and business phrases last month, I remembered another one that won’t go away: the “pain point”. Every sales and marketing blog (especially from the US) has been banging on about customers’ “pain points” for the last few years. It seems that we don’t stand any chance of selling stuff to our customers if we don’t identify what these are. There are even four different types of pain point.

This all comes from the ‘solutions’ school of selling, where customers all have problems, and as product or service suppliers, we have the solutions. However, as we all know, while some customers might have problems, many are quite happy with what they’ve got.

Sure, we know that we have something better to sell them, but that doesn’t mean that they have a problem, never mind being in pain.

I realise that it’s a good marketing strategy to use the three-act narrative structure in our storytelling, which normally results in a hero riding to the rescue. But I think we could all use a dose of humility. Customers aren’t all frantically scrabbling around for what we’ve got to offer. Many (perhaps most) of them need to be shown that we can offer benefits that they perhaps didn’t know existed. And that requires a good old proactive, possibly interruptive, advertising approach.