Silicon Valley Business Catalyst Blog

Pain Sells—Not Features and Benefits

Posted by Grace Hu-Morley on Thursday, April 23, 2009 Under: Marketing (general)





Update your marketing and selling approaches by starting with pain.  Focus on what pain you solve for your customers / prospects.  People buy solutions to their pain, not features and benefits.  Pain is the only thing they identify with.  Lead with the pain and use products, features, and benefits as proof points to the solution.

Start with positioning the pain.  Traditional marketing teaches positioning as describing your product / service in terms of benefits, target customer segment, and key reasons how you’re different from your competitors.  Times have changed and different practices are needed to drive more market share than traditional marketing can offer.

I focus on positioning because it provides the cornerstone of what you do for the customers / prospects.  Having clear positioning affects every decision made.  Every product / service decision can be judged by how well it supports the positioning.

For Product Management – Positioning provides focus, scope, and priorities for the product requirements.  Make sure that positioning is created and clearly communicated before development starts.  As the positioning owner and market messenger, make sure people in your organization are focused on the pain to keep them aligned with the market.

For Outbound Marketers – Positioning provides a basis to create marketing strategy, sales collateral, and other marketing materials.  Understand that customers / prospects buy the best story, not the best products.  Market the pain—otherwise you’ll sound like everybody else in the marketplace.


Selling the pain is also very important for you or anyone else in your organization who presents to customers / prospects (sales people, management, etc.).   You need to show and tell customers / prospects how you are going to take away their pain.  The fact that you understand their pain will set up apart from your competitors.  When it comes down to it, product is product.   People buy emotionally and justify intellectually.  (If you want to learn more about this selling technique, consider sales training with Achievex Corporation located in the Silicon Valley.  Achievex teaches the Sandler Selling System.)

Bottom-line… Everyone in your organization needs to focus on the target customers’ pain. 

To greater success.


In : Marketing (general) 


Tags: positioning  pain  problems  features  benefits  selling  sales  marketing  product management  product manager  product marketing  outbound marketing  grace hu-morley  grace hu  grace morley  gracehm.com  silicon valley business catalyst 
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About Silicon Valley Business Catalyst Blog

My motivation to begin this blog is to share my ideas mainly around technical marketing management, specifically product management and product marketing in the Silicon Valley. I am passionate about learning and want to help others who are also interested in building their expertise.

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