There are pain points you can identify in an initial sales discussion, and then there are the pain points that are hidden in plain sight. I believe these are the ones that matter, precisely because they have gone unquestioned for a long time.
How do you find them? Easy, by questioning the status quo.
Whenever I give one of my innovation workshops, the part about questioning assumptions always draws the most attention. This past Saturday, was such a day. You see, questioning (which is one of the five key innovation skills) is perceived as being irritating. Because when you question common practices and opinions, said one my guests, you get into trouble.
Yes, very true. Nobody likes their beliefs to be questioned. But, this is also a big reason why companies fail: their belief of future success is anchored in their past success.