"Pain Point Selling" has been taught for decades. It can be a very effective way to build a link in a prospect's mind between a specific problem and why they need your product/service to solve it.
I see a lot of lead generation webinars that use "Pain Point Marketing." In most cases, this is a mistake and is NOT effective. Why not? What is the difference between Pain Point Selling and Pain Point Marketing?
In the sales process, you are working on closing a deal with a single prospect. The idea of the Pain Point process is to identify specific, tangible problems that are a priority in the mind of that particular company (or individual). A good salesperson does this through a combination of research and dialog, getting the prospect to share their perceived problem area, helping them identify the costs to their business caused by the problem, and then showing them that your solution is a more reasonable, logical, cost-effective alternative than doing something else or nothing at all.
It seems reasonable that the same approach would work in a public marketing webinar, but I would argue against using this structure for building your lead generation efforts. There are two primary pitfalls…
1) One Target vs. Many Targets. Pain point selling works when it is very specific. You focus on detailed problems your prospect has. You draw the prospect into a conversation where they share more details of their situation and how it directly impacts their business. You then adjust your pitch accordingly, focusing on their issues and how you resolve them.
This is impossible in a mass-audience webinar. You can't focus on a specific problem for any individual viewer. You can't spend the time to draw him/her into an ongoing exchange of information. As a result, you are forced to create generic or "commonly-seen" pain points. They don't have the impact and immediacy for any given attendee because they are not tailored to the context in which the person thinks about the pain. There is a world of difference between these two pain points:
"It is hard to get viewers to watch your TV shows. There is so much competition from shows on other channels."
"You are only pulling a 4 share on Friday nights at 11:30. Jimmy Fallon, David Letterman, and Jimmy Kimmel are cannibalizing your audience."
2) Preaching To The Choir. Using generic, common "pain points" to set up your webinar and your solution turns off your audience in three distinct ways:
a) You are repeating the information that got them to sign up for the webinar in the first place. Your promotional materials must have identified those generic pains, otherwise your attendees wouldn't have signed up for your webinar. So the setup has already been done. You are not creating an infomercial shown on television - trying to capture the attention of a disinterested audience that is not looking for your message. Your audience CHOSE to attend. Treat them accordingly.
b) Demonstrating your credibility by showing that you "get it" establishes you as an outsider. While it is gratifying to develop an understanding of your target audience and their business, don't let your newfound perceptiveness blind you to the fact that your audience lives these problems every day. The TV executive doesn't need or want a primer on how hard it is to attract viewers. If you present that as if it is some sort of brilliant new insight, it confirms for them that they are dealing with a neophyte who hasn't been facing that problem for years.
c) Setup delays value delivery. The audience has come to get value, to hear something they didn't know before, to hear about solutions. Every second you spend covering obvious problems they are familiar with is an invitation for them to tune out - mentally or physically.
What does that leave us with? Am I telling you to abandon any mention of problems? How else can you introduce the value of your offering?
It turns out you CAN incorporate problem setup and resolution into a lead-gen marketing webinar. And in tomorrow's post, I'll tell you how to do it. (Now available online in An Alternative to Pain Point Webinars)