While we’re on the subject of what’s holding business owners back…
I wrote recently about how too many of my small-to-mid sized business owner clients don’t allow themselves the gift of good delegation. It keeps them toiling along with minor tasks, while they could be slaying bigger dragons on behalf of their business.
Well, after talking recently with a client who is particularly good at marketing, I thought I’d share something else that might be holding you back.
It is something which I’ve seen in healthy, growing businesses … and which is absent in stagnant, failing small-to-mid sized businesses: knowing their target prospect.
And USING this knowledge properly is critical. But you have to start somewhere.
Develop Your Target Client With These 7 Important Traits
“Don’t find fault, find a remedy.” -Henry Ford
In EVERY kind of business (even a non-profit), you want to do business (accept donations / serve clients, etc.), with people who meet a particular profile. And, if you can identify this profile, you can save a bunch of advertising money, and keep your sales force from wasting their time.
Sometimes, small-to-mid sized business owners think their market is simply “the local area.” Or, even worse, “anyone with money to spend”. I hope you see how wasteful this approach can be.
No, you’ve got to zero in on what groups will provide the best ROI possible when you’re putting together your marketing plan.
So, you’ll need some detailed information about your BEST target clients. In fact, I’ve written about this previously, but then only in general terms. Here are some more specifics for you…
I put together a list of 7 things you absolutely MUST know about your prospects.
(And, in case you’re wondering, if you’re a B2B business, this is just as pertinent. You’re still selling to people, not companies. Remember that!)
1. Age– Everything you say and write, including slang, allusions, word difficulty, and topics should be adjusted to meet age-appropriateness.
2. Gender– Despite the dual roles men and women tend to fill, most individuals can be segmented (and sold to) based on gender-specific interests or needs.
3. Location– Values and culture tend to vary based on demographics. Having a clear understanding of regional differences will improve your targeted messages.
4. Education Level– Similar to age-appropriateness, education levels should determine how you address your prospects and what benefits they will find in your product or service.
5. Income– The needs and wants from one social class to another should be a guide to the types of products and services you should be selling them.
6. Marital Status– The values, needs, and desires of married persons greatly differ from those that are single. Marketing family messages to single persons (and vice versa) can lose the deal for you.
7. What Keeps Them Up At Night– This is the most important one. You’ve got to know your prospect’s fears, worries, concerns, excitements, hopes and dreams. When you know the conversation inside your prospect’s head, you can enter it, speak to it, and build a relationship that leads to a customer.
So, take the time this week to really nail down these profiles.
And in the meantime, feel free to share this note with your sales force or anyone dealing with your prospects, and make sure they understand how to speak to them effectively.
Again, I don’t pretend to be a “guru” … but I see what works for my small-to-mid sized business owner friends, and I pass it along because I want you to have the best year you’ve ever had.
Feel very free to forward this article to a business associate or client you know who could benefit from our assistance — or simply send them our way? While these particular articles usually relate to business strategy, as you know, we specialize in tax preparation and planning for families and business owners. And we always make room for referrals from trusted sources like you.
Pierre-Louis & Associates CPA, P.C.