Our Quick Tips are designed to help you build your business skills, a few minutes at a time. If you want to know more about the same subject – and have more time to spare – you can listen to the 15-minute masterclass on the same topic.
In this quick 5-minute tip, Dee Blick, marketing expert, bestselling author and owner of marketing company, The Marketing Gym, talks about why you need to find your target market and explains how to do that. Listen now:
- If you have the time available, you may like to listen to Dee talk in more depth about this subject in the 15-minute Masterclass: Finding your target market.
- Dee has written various books about marketing, including:
Hi there, it’s Dee and today I just want to share with you two stories that really illustrate the importance of you finding the people that you know have got a burning desire to buy your products or services
The ‘bad’ business: the business that is struggling to find the right customers
So I’m actually going to start off with a little story about a ‘bad’ business. Now, I don’t believe that really any business owner starts off with the intention of having a bad business. You’ve slogged like mad to get this business off the ground. You’ve opened your doors full of enthusiasm and zeal. You really want to change the lives of people with what you’re doing.
But, and it’s a big but, you don’t actually think about who you want to reach. So this poor business that starts off well goes on this slippery, slippery slope.
Where do they start? Networking. Networking is brilliant. I’ve got nothing against it whatsoever. It’s really powerful. But all that you do is you get into the networking vein.
Then advertising. Local advertising. Again, it’s not bad at all but that’s all you are doing. You’re not really thinking about at the end of our advert or in your networking group, are there people that are going to buy from me? What happens? You don’t get sufficient business coming through the doors. So you frantically step up your activities. More advertising. More networking. Two days a week isn’t enough suddenly. Five nights a week, you’re out networking, burning the midnight oil. You may even succumb to maybe the odd Internet scam or offer. The promise to get you on page one of Google if you just part with £20 a month or another sum of money. All that happens is that you become more and more dispirited. It’s soul destroying, isn’t it?
You know that you’re great at what you do but somehow, you’re not actually getting enough people in through the door to buy from you, and really accelerating doing the same thing, over and over again is not the answer. That really is the unfortunate malaise of the bad business. There’s no plan B. Because really, although you brought all that passion starting your business in the first place, you didn’t actually sit down and work out who the people were that you wanted to reach that have got the greatest needs to buy from you. So you went down what I call as the ‘road often travelled’, rather than the ‘road less travelled’, of that networking advertising vortex.
At the end of the day, what do you do? You start to get a little bit desperate. So you offer ‘mates rates’. Suddenly at your networking group, you’re offering your services. You’ve got all this fantastic product or service, so why are you now offering it at a much lower rate? You’re doing it because you’re getting desperate. You start to offer special deals. Discounts that can actually have the effect of discrediting this fabulous product or service that you are offering.
Then what happens is your margins start being eroded. You’re not making as much money as you wanted to, or your costs are even worse or greater than the money that you are bringing in. In desperation, you’re thinking, “I can’t even afford the advertising now. I’m going to have to drop that.” That’s a situation that so many small businesses can get into, even though they’re brilliant at what they do.
The ‘good’ business: the business that knows who its customers are and how to delight them
So let’ now look at the flip side of this coin, of the ‘good’ business. Now this ‘good’ business owner is quite relaxed. They are working very hard, but by God are they enjoying being in their business. They spring up every morning with a glint in their eye. They really want to get out there and make business happen and that’s because they’ve got a really clear picture of who is going to be on the receiving end of their products and services.
Because what they’ve done, they’ve sat down and really thought about the people that they know have got this deep underlying need to buy from them. Not just anybody but the people that really want to buy. They’ve got a bit of an idea about the sort of decision making you miss. Who am I going to reach? Who am I actually going to reach with my product or services? Not just a faceless business. There’s actually people behind it. So I’m going to find out who the people are that I need to communicate with. I’m going to find out how long it takes for them to make the decision to buy from me. They start to think about the messages that they’re going to take to these groups of people. Because they know that people don’t just buy out of emotion, particularly in business. They buy because they’ve got a deep need.
They get these little groups together. They cluster them. They think, “Do I really want to work with everybody, or with people that are on my doorstep?” and, “Where is my best place to service these people?”
“That group over there, that might be a bit of an aspiration that I can’t actually do business with them now, because I’m not set. I haven’t got enough tools in my toolkit to really attract them, but maybe their an aspirational group that I will reach.”
But they know exactly the people they want to target, that have got a deep, underlying need. They’ve got these fantastic, laser-honed, benefit messages that they can carry to them and they absolutely love their business. They enjoy doing their marketing because they are reaching more people that really want to do business with them rather than trying to find that flipping ‘needle in they haystack’ that so many of us try and do.
So hope that you found these few tapes of mine useful. Certainly, I’ve had to do it with my own business when I started out. It was about six years ago on my own. I had no money but a glint in my eye and a clear understanding of the types of groups that would benefit from working with me or recommending me. So I know how hard it is to get onto that road less travelled.
But by golly, once you actually get onto it, you find then that because you’re an expert, you’re reaching people that really want to do business with you, that you keep getting recommended. Before you know where you are, your next headache is, “By gum, I’ve got to really grow this business and expand, because there’s so much coming in through the door, I don’t know where to turn next.”