Business Pain Defined

Every company has business pain, but the pain does not necessarily mean that they have a success problem. Pain can be anything from a minor dent, as when a marketing event does not produce the anticipated results, to a major process issue, as when reporting is not accurate. As you set out to find your customer's business pain, you should remember that you are not necessarily looking for huge issues, rather you are looking for issues that hurt the profitability of the company.

For example, I once worked with a company that sold calculators. This company had a process in place that automatically ordered more calculators when the computer showed only one left in stock. On one occasion they were getting rid of old stock and ordering newer models for sale. When the old stock's level hit one, the order system automatically sent a P.O. to accounting for ordering fifty more of that model. Sometimes the accounting department would catch the error and other times it went through. It became a real annoyance to send back-orders they did not need. The computer system was a business pain.

Instead of fixing the system, they relied on the accounting department to make the adjustments. When the suppliers started to get annoyed, they then recognized this as something that needed to be fixed. Sometimes it takes an organization a long time to admit that they have a business pain that needs to be rectified. More often than not, they will not know that they have the pain, they will only feel a dull ache.

All the minor aches of a company should be recorded somewhere on your power page. These are the ones that you are not likely to put into a CRM system, but they are ones that can give you leverage if you have a simple solution.

Bette Daoust, Ph.D. has been networking with others since leaving high school years ago. Realizing that no one really cared about what she did in life unless she had someone to tell and excite. She decided to find the best ways to get people's attention, be creative in how she presented herself and products, getting people to know who she was, and being visible all the time. Her friends and colleagues have often dubbed her the "Networking Queen". Blueprint for Networking Success: 150 ways to promote yourself is the first in this series. Blueprint for Branding Yourself: Another 150 ways to promote yourself is planned for release in 2005. For more information visit http://www.BlueprintBooks.com

In The News:

Goldman Sachs Started 7300 Small Businesses. What's Next?  Harvard Business School Working Knowledge
Small Business Hiring Slows  The Wall Street Journal

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