A classic in marketing is to identify your customer’s pain points and then recommend solutions.  You ask them what is keeping them up at night.

For example, you supply antique dolls to your customer’s upscale gift store.  During the last two quarters, doll sales have been down about 35%.  Ouch, that hurts, both the customer and you.  One solution is for the customer to begin an ecommerce doll business.  You provide all the vendor information needed to make that happen.  Within two more quarters, sales could surge, thanks to the online sales.

But you can also take that classic approach one step further.  You can help your customers identify the pain points for their own customers/clients.  That can even be done if the customer’s business is doing well.  The insight could increase sales futher, generate new lines of business, and deepen their relationship with customers/clients.

For example, you help your gift-shop customer shift from simply selling to developing a digital community with customers/clients. Incentives such as discounts, contests, background information, and entertainment can encourage them to join in.  From their conversations with the owner as well as among themselves pain points could become obvious.   Another means of diagnosis would be hosting a special event such as a doll show or a lecture by a doll expert.  Those attending would be rewarded for revealing their wish list, disappointments with getting and giving gifts, and what price points go beyond their budgets.

Often your customers are so preoccupied with the painful matter of declines in their own revenues or the current surge in business that they don’t focus on how their own customers/clients may be hurting.  When you help them do that you can significantly help your own business.

Kate Sirignano, founder of Image Marketing Consultants, invites you to a complimentary consultation for marketing, public relations, partnerships, special events, and social media kate@imagemarketingconsultants.com, 203-404-4868.